Friday, November 22, 2013

The Love Language of Touch

(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 2 of The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell, M.D.  Please keep in mind that these are the things that impacted us the most.  We encourage you to read the entire chapter yourself and share what you've learned from the study as well.  Please share in the comment section below the post.)

In Chapter 2:  Love Language #1: Physical Touch, we learn about the first love language, touch.  Some of us are huggers, some of us are hand holders, some of us constantly pat our children on their heads or play with their hair.  Some of us are not fans of physical touch.  However, our children may be craving that motherly/fatherly touch from us.  This could be their love language.

My sons are 11.  My son with autism loves to wrestle.  He loves hugs.  He loves high fives.  He loves to snuggle.  His love language of touch is definitely high up on the love language scale.  My other son, does not like hugs.  He isn't one for high fives.  He will not snuggle or even sit close to us.  This love language is definitely low on his love language scale.  However, they both still need to feel this love language.

This past week, I've been trying to incorporate this love language into both of my sons' days.  For my son with autism, it was easy to do.  We wrestled, gave high fives, sat together and read books.   For my son who doesn't like hugs, it was a little more challenging.  I would sit next to him and put my arm around him while talking.  While he was on the computer, I stood behind him and put my hands resting on his shoulders.  Just for a few seconds.  Just to show him this love language.  It was a little more challenging to do.  You know your child.  You know what is too overwhelming for them.

I love how the authors included the following in this chapter on the love language of touch:

"In the first century A.D., the Hebrews living in Palestine brought their children to Jesus "to have him touch them."  The writer Mark reported that the disciples of Jesus rebuked the parents, thinking their teacher was too busy with "important" matters to spend time on children.  But Jesus was indignant with his disciples.  'Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.'  And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them."

If you haven't done so already, please pick up your copy of The Five Love Languages of Children and read Chapter 2 to learn more on the love language of touch.  There is a lot more information on this love language and what you can do to show your child this love language.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Life Gets Busy, Make Time to Show How Much You Love Them

(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 1: Love is the Foundation of The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, M.D.  We'd love to hear your thoughts as well!  Feel free to comment below!)

Our lives are busy.  In today's society, we seem to pile more and more on ourselves to see how much multi-tasking we can do.  Our days are rushed through.  Our lives are crazy busy.  We almost have it all under control and then we add more.

Unfortunately, because we add more and more things to our already crammed busy days, we don't really stop and enjoy everything and everyone around us.  Think about your morning this morning.  Did it look anything like mine?  Jump out of bed, quickly pour a cup of coffee, help the kids get ready for their day, pack lunches, drink a quick sip of coffee, make breakfast, constantly remind kids to finish getting ready, rush everyone out the door with a quick kiss-love you-have a great day smile.  Take a sip of cold coffee.  Everything I just did in that short amount of time was for my children.  I rush around like crazy and help them get their day started on the right foot.  I love them.  They know I love them.  However, do they truly feel how much I love them?  At what point this morning before I rushed them out the door did I speak their love language to them?

What is a love language?  Love languages are different ways you "speak" to others to show them you love them.  The five love languages are physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts and acts of services.

When I first started reading Chapter 1 of The Five Love Languages of Children, I was certain I knew which love language spoke to my kids the best.  Then, the more I kept reading, the more I realized that I have no clue which one they spoke.  Further more, if I don't know what their love languages are, then how I am showing them I love them.   I have twin boys.  One is Hunter.  He is my comedian, keeps me laughing and is my strong willed child.  My other son is Sean.  Sean has autism.   Now, Sean is going to be a little more difficult for me to figure out his love languages.  However, I know I can figure it out for both of my sons.

Below are the points that the authors made in the book that impacted me the most:

*  Speaking your child's primary love language does not mean he or she will not rebel later.  It does mean your child will know you love him, and that can bring him security and hope; it can help you rear your child to responsible adulthood.  Love is the foundation. (p. 16-17)

*  You may truly love your child, but unless she feels it-unless you speak the love language that communicates to her your love-she will not feel loved. (p. 17)

*  Every child has an emotional tank, a place of emotional strength that can fuel him through the challenging days of childhood and adolescence….We must fill our children's emotional tanks for them to operate as they should and reach their potential.  (p. 17)

*  If children feel genuinely loved by their parents, they will be more responsive to parental guidance in all areas of their lives.  (p.19-20)

*  For a child to feel loved, we must learn to speak her unique love language.  (p.20)

*  Whatever love language your child understands best, he needs it expressed in one way, unconditionally.  (p. 20)

*  …it is good to feel love and to verbalize it, but this is no sufficient to make a child feel loved unconditionally.  The reason for this is that children are behaviorally motivated.  They respond to actions-what you do with them.  So to reach them, you must love them on their terms, or behaviorally.  (p.26)

*  Your children will sense how you feel about them by how you behave toward them.  (p. 27)

*  Speaking your child's love language will meet his or her deep emotionally need for love.  (p. 27)

*  Children need all five love languages of love to keep their emotional tanks full.  This means that parents must learn how to speak in all the languages  Your children can receive love in all of the languages.  Still, most children have a primary love language, one that speaks to them more loudly than the others.  (p. 27)

It all comes down to love.  We need to show are children with or without autism, how much we love them.  Now, it is going to be a little tricky for us to discover the primary love language of our children with autism.  However, I believe it can be done.  If we all learn how to speak all of the love languages to our children, we will discover their primary love language.  Shower them with all five of the love languages and watch how they respond.  Only then, will we be able to discover the one that speaks to them the most.

Imagine the possibilities of reaching your child with autism through showing them the one thing you know how to do the best, love them.  Imagine reaching out and showing your child who does not have autism how much you love them and are here for them just as much as you are for their sibling with autism.

Life does get busy.  Let's slow down and discover our children's' love languages.  That way, when are busy mornings are over taking us and we are all rushing out the door, we can make sure we are speaking the right love language to show them all how much we truly love them.

"Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions." 1 John 3:18

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Our Next Study

Join us on Wednesday November 13th as we start our next study....The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell.  

Did you know that we all have a love language?  This is how we show others we love them and how we feel loved by others.  Do you know your child's love language?  It is often tricky to figure out each other's love languages especially a child's.  As a parent to a child with autism, it's even more trickier.  It's hard to give them the "love language test" to quickly find out.  Like most things, we have to be creative, patient and really in tune to them to help find their love language.  But it's possible!

With this study, I pray that we will all learn how to speak each of our child's love languages.  We will be looking at each chapter from the viewpoints of both a parent of a child with special needs and a child without special needs.  We can't forget about how much autism can effect the siblings as well.

Join us on Wednesday November 13th as we discuss Chapter 1 of  The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell.