When my oldest was a tiny newborn, probably about 3 weeks old, a wise young friend came to visit. She was all of 16. As we gazed at this new little miracle in wonder (well, for me it was a sleep-deprived fuzzy-mindedness kind of wonder), we talked about the boy he would become.
“I wonder what his love language is?” my friend pondered aloud.
“Hmm,” I replied thoughtfully, “I’m not sure.” Of course, I knew nothing about love languages at that point, and didn’t even realize that at 3 weeks old, there’s no way to know what a child’s love language will be.
That newborn is 14 now, and I have definitely learned what his Love Language is, as well as the Love Languages of his siblings.
But my knowledge was all based on the original The 5 Love Languages book by Gary Chapman. And then, not too long ago I was excited to receive The 5 Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell.
We all know instinctively that we most feel loved when specific things happen. For me, hearing that I am appreciated or about something I did that impacted someone positively makes me feel loved.
It’s no surprise then, to learn that my Love Language, or the way love is most readily communicated to me, is with Words of Affirmation, one of the 5 Love Languages. The other 4 include Physical Touch, Quality Time, Gifts, and Acts of Service.
The 5 Love Languages of Children starts off with defining and explaining each of the Love Languages and how they look in terms of the parent-child relationship, always coming back to the fact that if a child doesn’t feel loved, the relationship that they have with their parents will be less than ideal. In fact, Campbell and Chapman have also included chapters on how Love Languages affect the areas of discipline and learning.
That’s all well and good, you might be thinking, but how do I discover what my child’s Love Language is in the first place?
You’re in luck, because Chapter 7 is entitled “How to discover your child’s primary love language” and the appendix includes “The Love Language Mystery Game”, a fun way for parents and kids to get to know the child’s Love Language.
This book is a wonderful way to learn more about your child and about how they feel loved, and to also check whether your style of discipline is the most effective. For example, if your child’s Love Language is Quality Time, and your go-to punishment is a time-out for the child alone in her room, it’s probably not the best possible method for your child.
This book is an amazing tool to get to know your child better, to learn how to better communicate love to him or her, and to strengthen your relationship.
A copy of The 5 Love Languages of Children has been provided courtesy of Moody Publishers and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Moody Publishers. As usual, all opinions are my own.