Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Five Love Languages of Children

This is another book a friend lent me. It is the children's version of Gary Chapman's bestseller among the Christian and secular world alike - The Five Love Languages. I have the original book, but it is another one that's been sitting in my bookcase, waiting patiently to be read (I'm hoping to read it with Duncan one day). Even so, I consider myself quite well acquainted with the love languages - physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, and acts of service. The idea is that we give and receive love in different ways, so that while we may think we're being loving to someone, they may not feel loved, because we aren't speaking their love language. We usually have a primary love language, although often enjoy giving and receiving using more than one. Just as we need to speak our spouse's love language, we also need to with our children.

There were a few things I learned/were reiterated from this book:
  • A child's primary love language often changes. At the moment, I think Rory's receiving love language is quality time and Flynn's is physical touch.
  •  If their behaviour is not great, it is often because their emotional needs through their love language are not being met. We need to fill their 'emotional tanks' with love.
  • Using someone else's love language might not come naturally to us (because we have a different love language), but we need to persevere.
  • If you aren't sure of your child's love language, you should observe them carefully and ask them questions which may show which way they're wired. For example, for a five-year-old (Rory's age), I might ask, "Would you like for me to bake you an apple pie (acts of service) or for us to take a walk in the park (quality time)?" "Would you rather wrestle (physical touch) or read a story together (quality time)?" "While I am out of town for two days, would you rather I bring you a present (gift) or write you a poem about what a wonderful boy you are (words of affirmation)?" (pages 111-12)
  • When you keep your child's love tank full with unconditional love, you will be able to discipline them with the best results. For example, if a child's love language is quality time, punishing them by isolating them may crush their sense of being loved.
I felt some of the book was a bit guilt-trippy in places, and this is something most parents don't need as we are sincerely doing our best in this very tough gig. There is a chapter about anger (which I struggle with). Overall, I felt as if this book was mainly what I already know.

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