As a parent in today's world of change and stress, do you find yourself feeling depleted and empty? Do you sometimes doubt and question that you are getting the most out of your relationship with your child? Or worse yet, is your child getting enough from you? How can we make sure that we are not going to bed each night feeling guilty, perhaps wishing we had a better day filled with deeper connections with the ones we love the most?
Unconditional love is the foundation the book The Five Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, M.D. Many seek out parenting books for inspiration, practical tools, or something that may refresh their perspective and give them a clearer understanding of their actions. This positive-approach book simplistically accomplishes this with tips and sound words of wisdom that parents can put to use immediately. Throughout the book, Chapman and Ross break down and explain the importance of understanding the primary love language that your child speaks. A parent is better able to fill a child's tank when identifying his or her individual and primary love needs.
Chapman marries the fundamental principles from his previous book, The Five Love Languages, and applies them to parent and child relationships at different developmental stages. By providing stories, techniques, and examples, parents are able to collect additional tools to aid them in connecting and filling their child's love tank. Understanding and finding your child's primary language is the major focus for better understanding your child's needs. Chapman and Ross assert the importance of practicing and modeling unconditional love to build a stronger foundation between parent and child and to prevent passive-aggressive relationships that can later divide a family. The authors stress the importance of practicing all the languages, but with an emphasis on finding the primary language. In essence, parents searching for clarity and redirection will find that here.
The languages are simple.
Physical Touch: Children of all ages crave physical touch. Hugging, kissing, hand holding, wrestling, holding your child in your lap, high fives, and back scratching are some examples that parents can express the love-language of physical touch.
Words of Affirmation: The ways in which we verbally communicate with our children are distinguished between: Words of Affection and Endearment Words of Praise Words of Encouragement Words of Guidance
Quality Time: Children want our focused attention and to simply be together. Just like adults, they want eye contact, to share thoughts and feelings, and to need the knowledge that they are important and you like being with them.
Gifts: This language stresses the importance of meaningful gift giving and making the most of gift giving.
Acts of Service: This language addresses the appropriateness of different acts of services at different ages, where the ultimate goal is for your child is to mature and display acts of service to others out of love. Examples are sewing a button, preparing a meal, fixing a bicycle, helping with homework, and just being a good role model.
Not all children have love-languages that are obvious. The authors provide ways of better distinguishing between the different languages to meet your child's needs. By using your child's primary love language, parents will be better equipped when discipline is required. There is a focus on prevention -- making sure that your child's love tank is full. Common sense? Yes, but great examples within the book help add to what good parents are already doing. There is a chapter dedicated to single-parent families and how this approach can benefit everyone.
Concrete ideas illustrate how to effectively guide your child's behavior, and how to help both parent and child emotionally develop by dealing with his or her anger in loving and appropriate ways. Ultimately, parents will turn to this book to learn how to love and understand their child even more than they already do. Filling up your child's tank will not only fill you up, but it will also provide the mileage that your family will need to get through the long beautiful journey of life together.
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