We took a brief look at “Loving Children In Their Love Language” in our past post and today we are going to delve even deeper into the five love languages and how to apply them to your children.
Remember, we want to use ALL of the love languages and be familiar with all the love languages as mentioned in the book, “The Five Love Languages For Children” by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell. However, if you can identify your child’s primary love language and keep the child’s emotional love tank filled, it helps decreased behavioral challenges and it helps you to think carefully through how you discipline. The authors bring up such things as if your child’s love language is quality time and you are using time-out (and you all know I do NOT believe in time-out, please see back posts) as a way to discipline the child, then you are using that child’s love language in a negative way. There are many examples in this book; I encourage you to get a book and read it!
To review, here are the five love languages and a few notes about each love language:
1. Physical Touch – the authors note many parents only touch their children when necessary (ie, to help them get dressed, etc). I like this quote: “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.”
Things you can do in this language: Greet or say good-bye to your children by hugging them; picking natural toys (hhmm, sounds like Waldorf!); ask your child if they want to be held; holding hands whilst saying blessings or prayers
2. Words of Affirmation – this means expressing love and appreciation for the child themselves, not words of praise for what they do. This does include using words that encourage.
The authors note: “ The greatest enemy toward encouraging our children is anger. The more anger present in the parent, the more anger the parent will dump on the children. The result will be children who are both antiauthority and anti-parent.”
Also included in this category are words of guidance: positive and loving guidance.
Things you can do in this language: encourage your child daily, and find the things your child is good at and tell them something positive whilst they are doing it; call your child when you are not home to tell him you love him; leave your child notes saying you love him or her.
3. Quality Time – this includes being present with each child individually and sharing thoughts and dreams and eye contact.
Things you can do in this language: include your child in your daily activities and chores; stop what you are doing and make eye contact; cook together; play with your children; take family vacations together; hike together
4. Gifts – “Yet for parents to truly speak love language number four-gifts- the child must feel that his parents genuinely care. For this reason, the other love languages must be given along with a gift. The child’s emotional love tank needs to be kept filled in order for the gift to express heartfelt love.”
My note is that for children who enjoy the love languages of gifts, these gifts do not have to be expensive store-bought gifts. They will admire a flower from the garden left on their pillow, a unique small crystal, a feather you found, a picture you drew for them, etc.
Things you can do in this language: make special snacks for your child, find things from nature as gifts, keep small gifts tucked away for rainy days or other occasions.
5. Acts of Service- the authors talk about how parenting is the ultimate act of service, and that in order to do this, we must ourselves be balanced since serving is physically and emotionally demanding. What is your own physical and emotional health like in this moment?
I thought this was a great quote: “the ultimate purpose for acts of service to children is to help them emerge as mature adults who are able to give love to others through acts of service.”
Things you can do in this language: regular involvement as a family in volunteering; setting up play scenarios for your children to find and play with; assist a child in fixing something or doing homework together.
There is a whole chapter on how to discover your child’s primary love language; I highly recommend it!
Connection, love and helping the child make restitution are the big keys to discipline…Bring on the love!