Over the years, I have relied on parenting books to help guide me through the uncertainty of raising a family. It is my intention to share with you the nuggets of wisdom I have gleaned from these books in a format that is easy to understand, and won’t take you a whole lot of time to read. Parents don’t have the time to sit and read for hours and hours. I want to make this as simple as possible.
The first book I want to highlight is “The 5 Love Languages of Children” by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell. First, I want to give you a quick overview and then, in the weeks to follow, highlight a love language for you and give you real-life applications that you can use with your kids. This book helped me get more in tune with my boys, especially with my youngest son, and I hope you find it helpful, too.
“Every child has a special way of perceiving love. There are five ways children (indeed, all people) speak and understand love. They are physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts and acts of service. If you have several children in your family, chances are they speak different languages, for just as children often have different personalities, they may hear in different love languages. Typically, two children need to be loved in different ways.”
All I ask is for you to consider this premise for the week. Start observing your kids and even your partner, spouse or other special relationships you encounter through a filter of each of them having a preferred language of love. Do you notice one of your kids is a chatterbox? Is one more reserved and snuggly? How about your spouse? Do they prefer thoughtful gestures or spending quality time with you?
Next week, I will describe my oldest son’s preferred love language, which happens to be quality time with some words of affirmation thrown in. After learning about the different love languages, I hope that you will have a greater understanding of your children. That’s when the real magic of a family can start to happen.
By Diana DeVaul, MSW and Parent
Chapman, G. and Campbell, R. (2012). The 5 Love Languages of Children. Northfield Publishing, Chicago, IL.