Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Five Love Languages for Children

I read this book a little while ago and I LOVED it.  I can't believe how helpful it has been in improving my interactions with my children!

Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a love languages book for couples and I read that this summer.  It was really a good read and very eye opening.  I reviewed it here.  At the end of the book he has a chapter about how the love languages relate to children.  I was very intrigued.  Then I found out that he teamed up with Dr. Ross Campbell to write one for children and I was so excited.

The concept is the same.  Everyone has a "love tank" and when our love tank is full, we are happy and feel fulfilled.  When our love tank is empty, we feel unhappy and unfulfilled.  Each person speaks a particular "love language" and in order to make sure those close to us have full love tanks, we have to know what their love language is and then speak it to them.  There are 5 love languages...Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, and Acts of Service.

The difference comes in how children handle themselves when their love tanks aren't full.  As adults, we can talk about how we are feeling or try and change it.  As children, they know they don't feel happy or loved, but they don't know why or what to do about it.  So, they misbehave hoping that the attention they will get will help to fill their love tanks.  Drs. Chapman and Campbell believe that if a child's love tank is full, their "problems" will become significantly less.  They are still children and so will still act like children, but the tantrums, outbursts, hitting/any other physical form of violence, excessive crying, excessive clinginess, etc will diminish or go away when the child feels they are truly loved.  They also say that as parents, we are responsible for filling their love tanks.  It means the difference in having a well-adjusted happy child, or the opposite.

Reading this book made perfect sense to me.  It helped me figure out what my kids' primary love languages are.  I have to say, some were quite obvious, and others were not.  Once I knew what each of my kids needed, I decided to experiment with it.  I have been making a conscious effort to talk to my kids in their love languages for the last month.  I can't even believe the difference in each of them!  It is unreal.  They weren't ever "bad" kids, but they each have definitely had their moments.  Within a week each of them was more playful, easier to talk to, and more likely to do what I ask them without any resistance.  I also learned that some languages are easier for me to talk than others and that I need to be very aware of that when interacting with my children.  The really amazing thing is that I have recently seen my children take my lead when they interact with each other.  They are treating each other the way they see me treating them.  It is truly amazing and I am indebted to these men for writing this book and explaining a concept that can quite simply change a person's life.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend it.

P.S.  Don't forget my Hooded Towel Giveaway.  It ends tomorrow so hurry and enter...tell your friends.

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