The 5 Love Languages for Teens: Connecting with Your Teen

As our teenagers navigate the maze of emotions, hormones, and TikTok dances, we’re here, holding the flashlight. 🕯️ As a mom of a teen myself, I have used my knowledge of the Five Love Languages to better understand and grow closer to her. It’s really helped. Having the conversation with her, and making her more aware of the love languages has helped her better express her needs and feelings.

This may be the first time you’ve heard of the Five Love Languages. No fear! Allow me to provide a quick synopsis. Grab your coffee (or sweet tea, because Georgia!) and let’s dive in to the Five Love Languages.

Family and Teen at the park | Atlanta GA

What Are These Love Languages Anyway?

Commonly applied to long-term adult relationships, the concept of Love Languages were made popular in the early 90’s by Gary Chapman Ph.D. However, they have since been adapted to improve relationships between friends, family members and in some cases, the corporate relationship.

Think of love languages as the secret decoder rings to your teen’s heart. Each one represents a unique way your kid feels loved and appreciated.

1. Words of Affirmation: The Verbal High-Five

🗣️ Remember when your teen was a little one, and they clung to your leg, seeking your approval? Well, that need for affirmation doesn’t vanish. Our teens crave genuine words of encouragement. A simple “I’m proud of you” or “You’ve got this” can fill their emotional tanks. So, let’s sprinkle affirmations like fairy dust—softly, but with impact. Go ahead and dish out those compliments like confetti! 🎉

Example: “Hey,Sam! I see how hard you worked on that math test. You’re a rock star!”

2. Quality Time: Adventures Unplugged

🕰️ Our lives are a whirlwind of schedules, but quality time with our teens matters. Whether it’s a heart-to-heart chat or a shared Netflix binge, those moments create bonds. Put down your phone (yes, Instagram can wait), sit beside them, and listen. It’s like planting seeds of love—they’ll grow into sturdy oaks.

Example: “Let’s go grab some ice cream and you can tell me more about xyz. Sound good?”

3. Physical Touch: Hugs, High-Fives, and Fist Bumps

🤗 Ah, physical touch—the language of hugs, fist bumps, and secret handshakes. While our teens might not crawl into our laps anymore, physical touch remains essential. A pat on the back, a side hug, or even a playful shoulder bump says, “You’re not alone in this wild journey.” So, go ahead, initiate that high-five, or squeeze ’em tight—they’ll appreciate it more than you know.

My daughter loves hugs from me. She will randomly approach me with her arms stretched out wide.😜. No words are needed. I just know what she needs in that moment.

Example: “Group hug! You’re amazing, kiddo!”

4. Acts of Service: Love in Everyday Gestures

🔨 Some teenagers appreciate practical love. Maybe it’s making their favorite snack or helping them organize their chaotic room (brace yourself for the sock avalanche). These acts say, “I care about you.” When we serve our teens, we fill their emotional tanks and show them love isn’t just talk—it’s action.For these teens, actions speak louder than words.

Example: “I made your favorite lasagna. Bon appétit!”

5. Receiving Gifts: Tokens of Connection

🎁 Gifts need not be grand. A handwritten note, their favorite candy, or a quirky keychain—they all count. These tangible tokens remind them that they matter. Plus, who doesn’t love a surprise gift? 

Example: “I saw this cute bookmark, and it reminded me of you. Happy reading!”

These are not Absolutes

Take the test. Do it together. It’s important that your teen know how to show you love in a way you would appreciate. Take it a step further and have everyone at home do it. It would make for a great discussion.

The Five Love Languages are typical of neuro-typical teens, i might add. However, I came across a study that adapted the concept towards neuro-divergent students. Neuro-divergent Love Languages have been researched and here’s one article I found that helped me better understand them. ***

Remember, dear parents, we’re all in this together. Let’s decode their hearts, one love language at a time. 🌈💖

P.S. If you need a break, head to Roswell Mill Waterfall or Wills Park. Nature heals teenage eye-rolls.


  1. Do you know the 5 love languages? Here’s what they are — and how to use them by Carol Bruess, TED-Ed Blog
  2. The 5 love languages and your teen – Focus on the Family Australia