How To Speak Your Child’s Love Language-Physical Touch

by Feb 22, 2019Focused Friday, Mom Life, Parenting2 comments

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.


Is your child’s love language “Physical Touch” and you want to learn more about how to show your child love? Children who fit into the profile of the “physical touch” love language don’t get as excited about receiving gifts or praise for a job well done. There are more impactful ways to show this child love.  In today’s post you will be learning exactly what “Physical Touch” actually means as a love language, how to recognize if your child has this as their love language and what you can do to fill your child’s love tank.


Does your child jump in bed every morning and cuddle really tightly with you, wanting for you to reciprocate? Maybe your child would rather spend all day with you holding her tightly in your arms as you go about your day. Or is your little one giving you a thousand kisses and hugs every day?


Well, it’s clear to say your child is “Physical Touch” as a love language.



The 5 Love Languages


Before we continue on understanding the love language “Physical Touch” I wanted to make sure you were fully aware of where The 5 Love Languages originated from and what the 5 Love Languages are.

Gary Chapman is the author of the book “The 5 Love Languages”. It’s a must read for all families. Here is a brief description of each one and how you can express that love language to your loved one.


1. Words of Affirmation – Speaking positive words over that person


2. Acts of Service – Doing something for the other person, such as a helpful task or chore


3. Receiving Gifts– Giving presents or a physical token of affection


4. Physical Touch – Providing hugs, kisses, physical embrace


5. Quality Time– Giving someone your undivided attention


Related: 33 Ideas For Quality One-On-One Time With Your Child


If you are not quite sure what your child’s love language is, you can take the appropriate profile quiz here:

Profile Assessment for ages 5-8

Profile Assessment for ages 9-12

Profile Assessment for Teen years

Appropriate Physical Touch Is Important For All Children


Numerous research projects in the area of child development have made the conclusion:

“Babies who are held, hugged, and kissed develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long periods of time without physical contact.”


So, if you are that parent who provides the appropriate amount of physical contact with your baby, then I want to say “well done!”. Your children need physical touch to feel loved and to have healthy emotions.


But even though you have been physically connected with your children since birth, does that mean your child is considered a “physical touch” love language?


No, not necessarily.


Understanding “Physical Touch” as a Love Language

Your children who have the love language of “physical touch” feel like their parents love them more if they spend more time being close to them. They feel like true love is shown by hugs, kisses, close embraces, pats on the shoulder, high-fives, head rubs, playful wrestling and tickle time.

Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages page explains it this way:

“To This Person, Nothing Speaks More Deeply Than Appropriate Touch.”

“A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face – they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.”

All they want is to be close to their parents. Being separated, with no physical contact at all, is what can make your child feel unloved.


It might sound pretty simple to just give your child hugs here and there and think everything is fine, but you want to make sure you are still showing your child genuine love while giving them a warm hug.


Did you know the average length of a hug between two people is 3 seconds?

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    But researchers have discovered that a hug that lasts 20 seconds has a therapeutic effect on the body and mind (due to the production of the hormone oxytocin which effects our physical and mental health). This hormone release helps us to feel more relaxed and calm.  

    Also, 70% of communication is non-verbal, so with that said, you don’t need to say I love you to your child with “physical touch” love language, you can just simply give your child a hug and he will know that you love him.

    I want to share with you some creative ways you can show love for your “physical touch” love language child.


    9 Ways To Show Love To Your “Physical Touch” Love Language Child


    1. Hug your child for 20 seconds in duration 5 times in one day (morning, lunch, dinner, before and after school) like research says we should be doing!


    2. Kiss your child on the palm of his hands (like The Kissing Hand book)


    3. Give your child “Double High-Fives” (two hands at the same time) repeatedly until they are tired!


    4. Play a game of tackle on the floor with your child before getting ready for bed.


    Related: How To Speak Your Child’s Love Language-“Receiving Gifts” 


    5. Start a new game called “Tickle Pass” where your child runs from one end of the room to the other end and you are sitting in the middle of the room, stationary, trying to tickle your child as he runs past you. Eventually, you will reach far enough to tickle him to the ground!


    6. Give your child a nice pat on the back after doing a great job being well behaved in school.

    7. Pat your child on the head after he played a great game in his sport (followed by a hug!)


    8. Have your child sit on your lap when reading books together. Cuddle him tightly!


    9. Cuddle with your child every night in bed, rubbing his back and running your fingers through his hair.


    Create Your Own Fun Game With Your Child


    These are some of my favorite ways to show affection to my children. My daughter came up with the game “Tickle Pass” and she absolutely loves the idea of not being reached and feeling unstoppable, but also loves when the game is over being tickled until she is uncontrollably laughing.


    I hope these ideas can help you have a better understanding of how simple, yet how important, physical touch is to your child. Your child just wants to feel loved, and having you close by simply reassures them that you care and love them.


    Do you have a child who’s love language is “physical touch”? How do you go out of your way to make sure you are filling your child’s love tank? Comment below, I would love to hear from you!


    One last tip, always show appreciation and excitement when your child does “physical touch” acts of love for you. This is his most special way of expressing how much he loves you.


    If you want to learn more about The 5 Love Languages, including Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, Quality Time and Words of Affirmation, you would enjoy reading my tips and ideas in the other posts mentioned below.


    Keep Smiling,

    Dr. Jena Bradley, DPT

    This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.


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    1. Cindi Peterson

      Love this concept! I was a real hugger with my folks as a kid. I would love to get foot rubs!

      • Jena Bradley

        Cindi, foot rubs and hugs are a win in my boat!


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    Hi there, friend! I’m Jena, a mom of 4 and a Physical Therapist with a passion to motivate moms! I want to inspire you to be your best self by sharing my experiences and trusted advice on motherhood, health and fitness.

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