Incorporating the 5 love languages in the classroom and at home

Understanding and catering to the diverse emotional needs of children is crucial for creating positive relationships with them.

Dr. Gary Chapman’s theory of the 5 Love Languages provides valuable insights into how individuals express and receive love. These love languages – Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch – foster positive connections in the classroom and at home.

In this article, we will explore each love language and discuss practical ways educators and parents can apply them to enhance their relationships with children.

Words of Affirmation:

This love language emphasises the power of positive words and verbal encouragement. Words can be a powerful tool when ensuring the children in your life feel loved and cared for within their classroom or home environment.

In the classroom, educators can employ Words of Affirmation to uplift and motivate students. Praising a child’s efforts, acknowledging achievements, and offering positive feedback during challenging tasks can significantly boost their confidence. At home, parents can reinforce a positive self-image by expressing love through affirmations, appreciating their child’s accomplishments, and offering encouraging words during both triumphs and struggles (Nguyen & Jacobs Hendel, 2022). All of these can create a positive learning and home environment, foster kindness, reinforce a sense of security and build self-esteem.


Acts of Service:

For individuals who resonate with acts of service, actions speak louder than words. In the classroom, teachers can demonstrate this love language by offering assistance, providing guidance, and actively participating in activities alongside the students. Helping a child with their schoolwork, organising classroom materials, or even engaging in collaborative projects can convey a sense of care and commitment, strengthening the student-teacher relationship. Similarly, parents can extend this love language at home by participating in collaborative activities, helping with homework, or contributing to daily tasks, emphasising the value of shared efforts.

Acts of service does not mean you do everything for the children. The best act of service you can provide is walking your child through a new process and teaching them, step-by-step, how to be more capable (Cornwell, 2023).


Receiving Gifts:

Children who appreciate receiving gifts may not necessarily be materialistic; instead, they value the thought and effort behind the gesture. They will often remember how presents were wrapped or who gave them the presents (Cornwell, 2023).

In the classroom, teachers can incorporate this love language by occasionally surprising students with small tokens of appreciation, such as stickers, bookmarks, or certificates. These symbolic gifts serve as tangible reminders of the teacher’s recognition and affirmation, creating a positive association with the learning environment. At home, parents can express love by giving thoughtful, meaningful or homemade gifts (a flower from your garden or a note in their lunchbox) (Underwood, 2021). Creating tangible reminders of affection that contribute to reinforcing emotional connections with their children.


Quality Time:

Quality time involves giving undivided attention and engaging in meaningful interactions. It is crucial for building strong connections both in the classroom and at home.

In the classroom, teachers can allocate time for one-on-one discussions, group activities, or even incorporate classroom rituals that emphasise connection. Reading stories together, participating in circle time discussions, and organising group projects create opportunities for quality interactions, fostering a sense of belonging and support among students. Similarly, parents can enhance their relationship with their children by spending quality time engaged in shared activities, such as reading together, playing games, or enjoying family outings.

Quality time with your children establishes important connections to foster strong relationships, it helps build trust within the classroom and at home (Underwood, 2021).


Physical Touch:

While physical touch requires sensitivity and respect for personal boundaries, appropriate forms of touch can convey warmth and care. In the classroom, teachers can incorporate this love language by offering high-fives, pats on the back, or even a comforting hug when needed. Similarly, at home, parents can use physical touch to provide comfort and reassurance, offering a hug during challenging moments, contributing to a child’s sense of safety and connection.

Physical touch helps create a secure and nurturing environment, particularly for younger children who may seek tactile reassurance. It is important to understand if the child resonates with physical touch, if this is something they do not enjoy, it is important to respect them and not impose your own love language on your children (Underwood, 2021).


In conclusion, the 5 Love Languages offer a holistic approach to nurturing the emotional well-being of children both in the classroom and at home. Teachers and parents, armed with this understanding, can tailor their expressions of love to meet the unique needs of each child, creating an environment where they feel valued, supported, and ready to thrive. Understanding your child can help strengthen your bond and build a better relationship (Cornwall, 2021). As we embrace the diversity of love languages, we pave the way for a holistic approach to nurturing the hearts and minds of the next generation. For more information, visit Bellavista School’s website.

This article is written in memory of the late Trish Scott, ex-Bellavista educator. She taught her students with so much love and care, and was passionate about incorporating the 5 Love Languages into her classroom.


Article written by Shani Brest – Gr 1 educator at Bellavista School

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