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Treasure Digest: The Five Love Languages of Children

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Treasure Digest

The Five Love Languages of Children

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The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell M.D. (Northfield Publishing, 1997) is an outstanding resource for those of us blessed to be able to work with children in some capacity, such as United Youth Camp counselor, school teacher or having children or grandchildren of our own.

Although there are five love languages that are important to everyone (physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts and acts of service), each child has a primary love language that speaks to his deepest emotional needs and fills his emotional tank like nothing else.

Ways in which a parent or grandparent can discover a child's primary love language are revealed, such as how your child expresses love to you, listening to what your child requests most and noticing what your child most frequently complains about. From a very early age, our youngest granddaughter has had a strong need for touch. She tells Grandma that she wants me to be her blanket when I hold her and wants me to wrap my arms around her. Our oldest granddaughter has a strong need for quality time and will signal that by asking Grandma to read to her, color with her or watch her race down the hall on her hands and feet.

For each primary love language, there are examples of what children who feel loved say. One such example (page 55) was David, age 5, who said, "My mommy loves me and my daddy loves me. Every day they say, 'I love you'" (words of affirmation). Another was Frankie (page 80), also 5, who told his grandmother, "My teacher loves me, Nana, look what she gave me." He held up a bright blue ruler with large numbers printed across it, the evidence of his teacher's love (gifts).

Other things, such as learning and discipline, are mentioned as they relate to the love languages. Understanding your child's primary love language will help you choose the best method of discipline and will make your discipline more effective.

The book gives the example of Kevin (touch, pages 124-125) who broke a neighbor's window and how his dad wisely handled the situation. It also examines how the encounter could have gone if Kevin's primary love language had been words of affirmation.