April 18, 2012

Loving My Children

About two months ago a friend and I were discussing one of my children's behavior...and my frustrations.  Like usual, she asked some good questions and gave some good insight from her own experiences as the the mom of three girls.  One of the questions she asked me was what love language my child speaks.  I immediately thought back to reading The 5 Love Languages years ago.

Before I got around to refreshing my memory as to the details of the the different love languages, I was contacted about reviewing The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell!  Of course, I immediately said yes.

I do think that the basis of the love languages is accurate.  Basically, each person has a "language" that if spoken often, will help a person to feel loved.  By speaking a person's love language, you keep their "love tank" full.  Though I may show love in many ways to a person, if I am not speaking their love language, they will likely not feel loved, even if they know they are loved.  Listed below are the five love languages as outlined by Ross and Chapman.

  • Physical Touch
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Gifts
  • Acts of Service
Even if you have read the original book by Gary Chapman, if you have children or work with children, I think this book deserves a read.  (Though teens are addressed quite a bit in this book, there is also a book just for them that you might consider.)  I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to add this to our home library because of how it specifically addresses children and their love languages.  Like the original book, I think this deserves an occasionally re-read.

A chapter is devoted to each of the love languages, as expected, and discovering your child's love language.  More than that, discipline, learning, and anger are addressed.  A chapter is also devoted to single-parent families, and another to marriage.  

I took away much from this book, but I think what I appreciated the most were the chapters on discipline and anger.

Time and time again, they came back to showing unconditional love.  Considering the love languages, it might be easy for an adult to withdraw or remove the love your child most desires when disciplining, but it could be detrimental to the child.  The authors say that when a child feels loved, it is easier to discipline that child.  I fully agree from my own experience as a mom.  They listen and respond so much better when I discipline in love.  Once you know your child's love language, it is important for you to NOT discipline in that language.  (The example given was if your child's LL is words of affirmation, but you use condemning words while disciplining, your words will communicate that you are displeased about the behavior AND that you do not love him or her.  Critical words can be devastating to the child whose LL is words of affirmation.)

A few random thoughts: 
Punishing a child who is sorry for their behavior can build resentment.  Now, if only I could know when the feelings and actions are genuine...and when my child is sorry to have been caught.  

Never before had I thought that the little gifts I sometimes give to my children cannot be called gifts if I am actually linking the gift to their behavior.  It then becomes a reward.  Big Sis's primary LL might be gifts, so I need to be very careful with this; I want to love unconditionally!

The Anger and Love chapter was rather eye opening for me.  The passage below is specifically about children, not adults.
"Remember, all anger must come out either verbally or behaviorally.  If you don't allow it to come out verbally, passive-aggressive behavior follows.  When your child speaks in anger, it does not necessarily mean that he is being disrespectful.  To determine whether he is respectful, ask yourself, 'What is the child's attitude toward my authority most of the time?'" ~ p. 171
I'm still wrapping my brain around that one and much of the anger chapter, not only for my children, but also for me, as a person in general, not just as "mom."  (I did notice that as much as they discussed anger in adults, they didn't really offer any resources to help adults, though they offered recommendations throughout the book for other problem areas.)


I definitely recommend this book to parents of children under 11 or 12 (past that consider the teen book I mentioned).  I'm hoping my husband reads it soon, too.  You can even take a quiz on-line to learn your love language or help your child learn his!

Thank you, Propeller, for providing this book for review in exchange for my honest opinion.  I really enjoyed it!

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}

4 comments:

  1. I bought a copy of this one several years ago(before I even had children, best I remember), and had completely forgot about it. I put it in my reading pile, because I really need to read it! I can already tell how very different my little boys are.

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  2. I haven't read any of the 5 love languages books, but I have read and heard so much about them I feel like I know them pretty well.

    I don't know if I agree that "anger must come out either verbally or behaviorally." I think anger can be diffused. Proverbs 19:11a was a help to me there: "The discretion of a man deferreth his anger." But that's hard for children who haven't learned how to do that yet.

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    1. Barbara, I just updated the post to reflect that they did distinguish that they were talking about children and anger coming out verbally or behaviorally. Thanks for catching that!

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  3. Oh! I just won a copy of this one so I'm going to wait to read your review until I have a chance to read it for myself. I'm very anxious to do so. I'll be coming back to see what YOU shared about it (shortly, I hope.)

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