Love Is A Language

Peta Daniel helps parents learn how to identify their preschooler’s love language and bridge the gap between different ways of loving.

We all understand and communicate love in different ways, and sometimes this means miscommunication. Our expert, Dr Sumayya Ebrahim, a practicing psychologist specialising in family psychology, adds some insight to how to love in the right language for your child.

Languages Of Love Explained

In his book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to your Mate (1995) relationship counsellor and author, Dr Gary Chapman, outlines the five ways in which people express and experience love. These five languages include:

  • Gifts
  • Quality time
  • Words of affirmation
  • Acts of service
  • Physical touch.

Dr Chapman suggests that each person has a primary and secondary love language that makes the most sense to him or her. However, he explains that we should use the love language that the person we love can most easily understand and receive. For example, if your primary love language is ‘words of affirmation’ and your partner’s is ‘physical touch’, you should use physical touch to show your affection wherever possible rather than your own primary language. After all, love is selfless.

This may be primarily aimed at helping couples to better show their love, but it works for all relationships, including those with and between your children. It makes sense for us, as parents, to do our best to meet our children’s needs, and the need to be loved is the most important one of all.

Under the age of five children would have physical touch as their primary love language, but as they get older they learn and develop differently. Let’s look at how each love language could apply to your child:

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