Tuesday, January 24, 2012

5 Love languages of Children

I'm currently reading this book:

I have really enjoyed learning about the 5 love languages...words of affirmation, quality time, touch, receiving gifts and acts of service.  Every child needs love shown to them in all of these languages, but they usually have one language that is their predominant language - the one they need to feel the most.

Brandon and I think Mackenzie's predominant love language is quality time.  She will ask us several times a day to specifically play with her or watch a movie with her. She doesn't always let us play with her (she likes things a certain way), but she still wants us to sit next to her while she plays.  Now that I realize quality time is her predominant love language, I've really been trying to focus on spending more quality time with her.  I think the home school helps tremendously because it's time that she and I spend together while Meredith naps.  That's actually a time when I can use all of the other love languages at the same time.

words of affirmation - "you did awesome", "you are so smart", "thank you for doing so well"
touch - sitting in my lap, hugging her when she has done well, holding her hand when we sing
gifts - new exciting school stuff for her - usually a new school activity/game each week
acts of service - helping her with the coloring or cutting when she asks

In one of the chapters it talks about discipline and still using the love languages.  It said that for a child whose love language is quality time, being sent to their room to be alone can really hurt their sense of being loved.  With that being said, I think that's why the threat of being sent to her room really works for Mackenzie.  She rarely is sent to her room - only when she has repeatedly disobeyed us, but the threat of isolation is usually enough.  I did this before I read the book, but after she's had her time out, we always hug her and tell her we love her.  So, even though we punished her through her predominant language at least we are telling her we love her with two other languages.

They say that a child's love language can change over time, so it's good to use all of the love languages and to also watch for clues if it has changed.  I also bought the original 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and I plan to read it next.  It has the same languages, but relates to marriage, so I think it's still worth reading.  I think my love language is words of affirmation, but I'm going to take the survey at the back of the book to confirm.

I just thought I'd share this info with those who haven't read the books.  I highly recommend buying, borrowing, or checking it out from the library!

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