Beyond the Gift:Connecting With Your Child Through Their Love Language

 Beyond the Gift:Connecting With Your Child Through Their Love Language

Photo Credit: Laura Yost  @laurayostphotography

Giving gifts to children, a love language within itself is the art of presenting them with something to celebrate an occasion, recognize them, or even show they are valuable to you. However, the way you choose gifts is more reliant on how the child wishes to receive love than it is based on how you intend to honor them. 

Marketing expert Gabrielle Gambrell emphasizes that understanding a child’s love language can help deepen the parent-child relationship and provide reassurance, especially when picking out the perfect gift. A love language is the different ways people commonly express and receive love. There are five love languages – words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, and receiving gifts. 

“Identifying a love language is important because it makes it an intimate and personal connection,” Gambrell says. “What works for one child may not work for another.” 

Overall, understanding how someone wants to be loved is a way to show them respect. And since gifts are inherently meant to show someone love, respect is mutually involved. Naturally, for the child whose love language is receiving gifts, the fact that they were given something shows them love in how they choose to receive it.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 4-683x1024.jpg
Photo Credit: Andrew Pompey, ATP Productions 

For other love languages, that gift should be accompanied by something that resonates with the child on the receiving end. Based on a scenario of giving five different children a doll, Gambrell shares the ways each love language can be honored using the same gift.  

Words of Affirmation

Children who appreciate words of affirmation don’t necessarily need anything physical. They prefer people to be deliberate in encouraging them. 

“Let them know you are proud of them and let them know you love them through words,” Gambrell says. If you were to present them with a doll, you must accompany that gift with words of affirmation. 

“You can give a ballerina doll and say, ‘When I saw this doll, I thought of you because I know you love dancing. And this doll is a reflection of the great dancer that you are,'” Gambrell says. 

Quality Time

Children who crave quality time require undivided attention, including something as simple as running errands together. “This the child comes over and says, ‘Hey, can I wash dishes with you?’ And it’s not necessarily because they love washing dishes. They love that they’re doing it with you,” Gambrell says. 

Presenting them with a doll should come along with time spent together. “You give a doll to the little one and say, ‘Hey, I just got you this doll, and I can’t wait to play with you,'” Gambrell says. 

Physical Touch

Physical touch can be something as simple as holding your child’s hand. “It can be those hugs, those cuddles, the kisses, the high fives. It could even be brushing your child’s hair,” Gambrell says. 

A doll presented to this child requires that same energy. “You give the doll and say, ‘Hey, do you want to comb the doll’s hair with me?'” Gambrell says. 

Photo Credit: Laura Yost @laurayostphotography

Acts of Service

Children whose love language is acts of service feel most loved when someone does something for them. This can be cleaning their room, bringing them a glass of water, or tucking them in at night. 

Presenting this child with a gift includes asking lots of questions to determine which act of service would be most appreciated. “It’s asking things like, ‘Is there anything I can do?’ ‘Is there something you have in mind for this doll?'” Gambrell says. 

Receiving Gifts

For this child, love-language-gifting is giving them something. “Giving them something with them in mind, showing someone that not only were you thinking about them, but you went the extra mile,” Gambrell says. This child would feel loved simply by knowing you picked out the doll with them in mind. 


Knowing how a child receives love shows that you are intentionally thinking of them. While children can exhibit multiple love languages, parents should focus on the one that brings the child the most joy. Overall, danger is associated with not knowing or honoring your child’s love language. 

“You could be spending an enormous amount of money getting expensive things, but that’s not love for them,” Gambrell says. “Now, your relationship isn’t as deep as it could have been. Your relationship may even be strained because they’re thinking, ‘What about me – that’s not who I am – that’s not important to me.’ So, knowing how they want to be loved, their perception of love, and what love means to them can deepen that relationship.” 

Leslie D. Rose

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