(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