The Five Love Languages: Filling Their Love Tanks


Sanctus Real sings a song called “Lead Me.” One of my favorite lines from that song is, “Don’t want to leave them hungry for love….” Whenever my children are being exceptionally fussy or crabby, I know they are lacking in one of three ways: their blood sugar, their energy level, or their love tank. I know when they are hungry for love, they get… creative, if you will, about how to express that they need some lovin’! It can be quite overwhelming to think that we, as parents, are responsible for keeping their love tank full.

My mom gave me an amazing book on this. It taught me how to show my children love in a way that would speak to their hearts. I would encourage you to check it out! It’s called The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell.

This book talks about the five love languages, how to love on your children in a way that will fill their love tank most efficiently, and how to keep it full.

I first read this book at a time when I was really struggling with my oldest daughter. We were butting heads about everything. I needed a good lesson on how to love her better. I appreciate going back and reading it over and over when I am struggling with fussy kids.

 The Five Love Languages

Physical Touch

This is the easiest love language. It doesn’t have to be limited to hugs and kisses. It can be as simple as letting your child sit on your lap, a shoulder rub, or holding hands.

A tender hug communicates love to any child, but it shouts love to these children.

Words of Affirmation

Our second born has this one as her primary love language, I believe. She beams with pride when we praise her, encourage her, tell her we love her and are proud of her. The flip side of that is she feels really beat down when she is scolded or if we speak to her too harshly. She thrives on kind words and is also great at encouraging and loving on others.

Related Post: Tell Them: Expressing Love through Verbal Affirmation

Quality Time

If your child loves spending time with you, whether it’s attending their sibling’s game or running errands with you, it is clear that they enjoy quality time. Any time that you can make an extra effort to give your child focused attention, you are filling their love tank! They want to know that they are important to you and that you like spending time with them.


This one can seem like every child’s love language. It is very important to understand that with this one, the other languages must be spoken as well. Gifts do not have to be bought. You can make them something special, find a neat rock, or pick a flower for them. If gift giving is your child’s primary love language, they will appreciate the effort that goes into the gift as well as the gift itself.

Acts of Service

We serve our children, but as they are ready, we teach them how to serve themselves and then others.

By helping your child with everyday things, you are showing them that you love them and teaching them how to love others. This could include sewing a button on their shirt, helping them pick clothes for school, having their bed ready at night, helping them with homework, or simply folding and putting away their laundry.

If you are confused about what your child’s love language is, ask your child how they know you love them. They will give you your answer. “Because you hug me a lot.” “You always tell me you love me.” “You play games with me and read books.” “You always know just what I want.” Or, “You wash my clothes.”

How do you fill your child’s love tank?


  1. Claire is for sure-words of affirmation and Norah is my physical touch (little cuddle bug). Crazy how different they are. Thanks for the awesome post Rachel-so important to remember.

  2. I’ve always been intrigued by Gary Chapman’s books on love languages, and I think you’ve given me additional motivation to finally check this one out. Can you imagine the unspoken emptiness–or even hurt–that could accompany an unintentional miscommunication of our love to our kids? Oh, how I don’t want that! I took your suggestion to ask my kids how they know that I love them. Abel’s answers confirmed my strong suspicion that his primary love language is quality time; and Amariah’s answers were kind of all over the board. 🙂 Interesting. Now if I can just find some free reading time…. 🙂

    • @Angela Squires Angela, yes! I don’t want to ever leave my kids hungry for love! I hope you are able to pick up this book and dive in. It isn’t too long!

  3. […] In order to properly train your monkeys, you need to get to know them. Get to know their character, what entices them, what appeals to them. Figure out how to reward and how to teach them “no.” One monkey is logical, thinks through things. He is strong-willed and loves his free time. Another monkey appreciates praise more than anything. It’s important to not use harsh words as punishment, to speak sweet words to motivate this one. The other monkey acts tough but is actually quite tender. She likes to hang on you often. This one may be the trickiest as she requires more of your personal attention. Each monkey will be trained differently. First, you should train yourself on how to relate to and motivate each one. […]


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