5 Love Languages of Children (Gary Chapman and Dr. Ross Campbell)

Many moons ago, my husband and I read Gary Chapman's 5 Love Languages as part of our pre-marital counseling. What a terrific resource for couples, by the way! We have shared it with so many friends and family members. As a matter of fact, where is my copy??? Hmm....

The theory of the 5 love languages is that every person receives love in a unique way. When you take the time to discover and to speak a person's love language, you can begin to understand them and love them in a more effective and meaningful way. With children, the point is that your kids may know you love them and not truly feel your love. Speaking their love language helps with that. Speaking their love language helps you better manage their behavior, understand who they are as a person, and parent in a more positive manner. Chapman's constant reference to the phrase "filling up their love tank" is so cheesy it makes me laugh out loud. But, it's true. When we make sure that our children have all that they need, from the clothes on their body to the security they feel in our love for them, the whole family is happier and more stable.

The 5 love languages are:
1. Service
2. Gifts
3. Words of affirmation
4. Quality time
5. Touch

Chapman and Campbell provide several practical tips for determining your child's love language, and then a thorough description of each language and how to speak that to your children. The week that it would take you to fly through this book will be time very well spent. My only criticism would be that the narrative examples of other parents' "love stories" can get rather hokey and seemingly exaggerative.

Our oldest child is still rather young and could develop a whole different persona in the next few years, but at this point, her love language is definitely Quality Time. When we pour quality time activities into her, like puzzles and art and games, her behavior is much more positive than when we have asked her to play independently. One specific example: bedtime is a nightmare around here. Yet, when we realized that if we target those hours before bedtime as opportunities for quality time, she feels secure and loved and has an easier time going to bed.

Every parent should read this book. Every teacher should read this book, to better understand and relate to the children in his or her class! Want to borrow mine? You are welcome to it...as long as I get it back. ;-)

5 Love Languages Website