Friday, April 11, 2014

Wrapping Up The Five Love Languages of Children

(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 11 and 12, as well as the Epilogue for The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Chapman, M.D.  Please know that what we all learn from a study is usually different.  We'd love to hear your thoughts on this as well!)

This week, I want to wrap up this study of The Five Love Languages.  The book has provided a lot of great tips on how to discover our children's love languages as well as how to deal with anger and so much more.  Chapters 11 and 12 discuss Single-Parenting and Marriage.  There was a lot of great information and strategies on how we can feel our own love tanks as well as our spouses so that we can do the same for our children.

Here are the points that impacted me the most:


*  Everything we've said about loving your children is true, whether they reside with one parent or two.  There are many added dimensions in single-parenting families, yet the power of the five love languages is no less.  (p.  163)

*  No matter what your situation, if you are a parent raising your children alone, we know you can effectively show love to your family, particularly by speaking your children's primary love language. (p. 164)

*  If children receive the right kinds of love at times when they especially need it, they can come through the pains of family separation intact and go on to satisfying adult lives.  (p. 172)

*  A single-parent's emotional need for love is just as real as anyone else's need.  Because that need cannot be met by the former spouse or by the child, the single parent often reaches out to friends.  (p. 173)


*  To feel loved and to strengthen your child's sense of being loved, you need to speak your spouse's primary love language as well.  (p. 178)

*  Speak each other's primary love language regularly and you will see a profound difference in the emotional climate between the two of you.  With full love tanks you are better able to fill your children's love tanks.  We believe you will find your marriage and family life much more enjoyable.  (p. 188)


*  No matter what your situation is now or will be in the future, God will never forsake you.  He will always be there for you and see you through to the end.  As you raise your children, there are opportunities to develop the spiritual aspects of their lives and your own.  (p. 194)

I especially loved what the authors included on page 194:

    The Old Testament prophet Isaiah, declaring God's words, wrote:
     Fear not, for I am with you;
     Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
     I will strengthen you,
     Yes, I will help you.
     I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

I hope you enjoyed this study as much as I did.  I learned so much from this book.  I believe the most  important thing I've learned about helping our children always feel loved is that we need to constantly fill their love tanks by speaking their love languages.  This will equip them to handle all that live throws at them.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chapter 10: Anger and Love

Below are Nicole's thoughts on chapter 10 of The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, M.D.  Please know that what we all learn from a study is usually different.  We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well.  Feel free to comment below the post!

In Chapter 10 of The Five Love Languages of Children we learn how anger and love work hand in hand with helping our children deal with anger.  The authors do an excellent job on helping us to understand anger, how to control it ourselves and how to teach our children to the do the same.  If you have not read this chapter, I encourage you to do so.  I'm not going to go into detail on all of the helpful hints they gave on helping your children through it.  Instead, I want to look at one point that the authors made that really touched home to me in dealing with anger and autism.

Anger management is the most difficult part of parenting because children are limited in the ways they can express anger.  They have only two options, verbal or behavioral expression, and both are difficult for parents to handle.  Parents find it hard to understand that the anger must come out some way, that it cannot be totally bottled up.  p. 153

Mix in a little autism and it makes it that much more difficult to help our children "get their anger out".  With our kids, the easiest way to get out their anger is behaviorally.  Most of our children struggle with verbal expression so their go to response to anger and frustration is going to be behaviorally.

So how do we help our children with autism express their anger?  We need to look back at chapter 10 on two things that the authors say will help children deal with anger.

The first is we need to learn to control our own anger.  On page 148, the authors write the following...."Parents who have not learned to control their own anger are not likely to train their children how to do it.  And yet, this kind of training is essential for the well-being of children and of society.  If you have never learned how to manage your own anger, we strongly urge you to get some help in this area, so that you will be able to teach your children by example and word how to best handle their anger."  

This especially true for children on the spectrum.  I don't know about your child, but my son is so in tune to my feelings.  There are times where he can point out my anger and frustration before I even notice it.  It's important for me to control this anger and frustration so that he doesn't pick up on it and it doesn't effect him.

The other point the authors made in this chapter that I feel can really benefit us as parents of children with autism is the following:

"....keep his emotional love tank full of unconditional love."  p. 153

How do we keep their emotional tank full of unconditional love?  Showering them with their love language.

With our children on the spectrum, we may or may not be able to tell which love language speaks best to them.  Therefore, it is important that we shower them with all five love languages to help fill their tank.

I am well aware that with our children it is going to be a little more difficult to help them control their anger.  There is so much more going on with them internally that we may not be aware of.  With my son, when he eats something that hurts his belly or is feeling even the slightest bit sick we see more OCD which in turn can bring anxiety and anger.  We have a whole different ballgame going on over here.  However, at the same time, I do believe our children are capable of so much in this life.  Including learning how to control their anger.  It may take a lot longer.  It may only be a little bit of controlling their anger going on.  But every bit will help them.

As mentioned above, the authors went into more detail on how to help your children with their anger, including a "ladder chart" on ways to teach them.  I didn't go into a lot of detail on this however, these steps are all important on teaching our kids to deal with anger.  Our children need to be taught different ways in dealing with their anger.

So let's start trying to help our children deal with their anger.  Learn how to control your own.  Shower them with the love and follow the steps that the authors wrote in Chapter 10.

The most important thing to remember, in my opinion, is to keep their emotional tanks full!

(Please note that when dealing with the behaviors with autism, it's important to look at different treatments to help your child in dealing with these behaviors.  Every child is different in what approach works best for them.  For me, my son responds to ABA/Verbal Behavior when dealing with anger and behaviors.  In my home, we will be continuing to do ABA/VB and adding in some of the suggestions that the authors made in chapter 10 of The Five Love Languages.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Chapter 9: Learning & The Love Languages

Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 9 of The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell, M.D.  Please know that what we all learn from a study may be different.  We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well.  Please feel free to leave a comment in the section below this post!

Below are the things that the authors talked about in Chapter 9 that impacted me the most:

*  True discipline can help to develop a child's intellect and social skills that will serve him for a lifetime.  p. 130

*  Children discover life through the five senses.  A home environment that is rich in stimulation of vision, hearing, touch, taste, and smell will feed their natural desire to discover and learn.  p. 131

*  Children are more emotional than cognitive; they remember feelings more readily than they do facts.  p. 131

*  ...emotional development can make a tremendous difference in the child's learning readiness and process, and this is where parents can help the most.  We can prime our child's learning pump by continually filling his emotional tank.  p. 132

*  As you consistently speak the five languages of love-physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, and acts of service-you are giving your child much intellectual stimulation.  p. 132

*  A question parents often ask is , "How can I motivate my child?"  We can motivate only after we have filled our children's love tanks and trained them to mange their anger.  p. 137

*  If you understand your children's primary love language, you can enhance their daily experiences by speaking their primary love language as they leave for school in the morning and as they return in the afternoon.  Those are two important times in the lives of school-age children:  To be touched emotionally by their parents on leaving and returning home gives them security and courage to face the challenges of the day.  p. 140

Read the last point above can enhance their daily experiences by speaking their primary love language as they leave for school in the morning and as they return in the afternoon.  Oh boy did the guilt over power me as I first read this.  How many times do I rush my kids in the morning ready to send them off to school so no buses are missed?  How many times do I run in the doors for therapies to drop off my son with autism so we aren't late?  How often do I scoop them up and rush to the next thing on our list?  Immediately after reading this I knew how guilty I was of doing this and I made this a priority of mine.  For my child who doesn't have autism, I speak his love language.  Our mornings are now smoother with less yelling and craziness.  For my son with autism, I try to speak all five of the love languages to him while trying to figure out which one reaches him the best.  The funny thing I've noticed about my son with autism is that his love language are sometimes different each day.

The thing I am learning the most from this study is no matter what is going on in the lives of our children the most important thing we can do is speak these love languages to them to help fill up their tank so that when the world around us chips aways at them, they are so full of this love that they do not crack.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Chapter 8: Discipline and the Love Languages

Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 8 of The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell, M.D.  Please know that we all learn from a study is usually different.  We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well.  Please comment below the post.  

Discipline…when we hear that word we think of spankings, yelling, punishment.  This is what most parents (and children) think of when we hear the word discipline.  In Chapter 8, the authors teach us about discipline and it's true meaning.  They show us how discipline and punishment are actually two different things.  I want to encourage you to read this chapter, if you haven't done so already, and learn the difference between discipline and punishment.

Chapter 8 talked about a lot different things about discipline and punishment.  The authors described different methods of disciplining your child as well as different forms of punishment.  However, the one thing that stood out to me the most was the following:

Practice Unconditional love; then discipline.  (p. 115)

After reading those words, I thought to myself how quick I am to discipline and then wondered if my children could still feel my unconditional love.  Both of my children…autism or no autism.  Can they see how much I truly love them and feel this love when I discipline?  That's the point that I feel both authors were trying to get across.  If we keep our children's emotional tank full, the discipline comes across as a learning experience instead of punishment.  On page 114, the authors write…"The father's harsh words and angry tones might be tolerated by a child who felt secure in his father's love; but when the love tank is empty, as in Jason's case, such discipline creates anger and bitterness rather than responsibility."  The authors continue on page 115…"Clearly it is crucial that you love your child unconditionally.  You can do this much more effectively if you know and speak all the love languages.

Are you still speaking all five love languages to your children?  Have you discovered your child's love language and ways you can show them how you love them?  I'd love to hear!  Feel free to comment in the section below this post on your experience so far with any of your children!

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."  -Proverbs 22:6

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chapter 7: How to Discover Your Child's Primary Love Language

(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 7 of The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell, M.D.  Please know that what we all learn from a study is usually different.  We encourage you to share what you've learned as well in the comment section below the post.  We'd love to hear from you.)

Now that we've learned what each of the five love languages are, we need to discover what are children's love languages are.  For children with autism, it may be a little more difficult for us to figure this out right away.

Below are the things the authors wrote which impacted me the most out of Chapter 7:

*  As we speak love in the five languages, all the while specializing in her language of love, we show her how to love others and her own need to learn to speak others' love languages.  (p. 98)

*  What happens when we speak all five love languages?  We teach our children to love others with all the love languages.  (p. 98)

*  Discovering your child's love language is a process; it takes time, especially when a child is young.  (p. 99)

*  While you need to look for your child's primary language, you also need to keep in mind that children go through stage in loving, as they do in everything else.  (p. 100)

As I mentioned in previous posts, it is very important that if you have not done so already, please read each chapter in it's entirety.  These are just the points that meant the most to me.  In Chapter 7, we learn how to discover our children's love language.  What I did not include above is two very points in our to discover your child's love language.  The first is five step way of discovering it.  The second is by using choices.  The third is a fifteen-week experiment.  All three have excellent ways of discovering your child's love language.

I want to focus on one thing in particular.  Throughout this entire book, we've heard the author mention something important.  When it comes to discovering a younger child's love language, we need to shower them with all five love languages in order to find out what one speaks to them the most.  I believe the same goes for our children with autism.  We need to show them all five of the love languages and watch closely as to which one speaks to them the most.  Watch their facial expressions.  Look for signs of anxiety afterwards or calmness.  Take notes and really try to find out how to express your love to them.  Once we discover their primary love language, we can teach others this as well.  Which will only help in so many social situations that are currently overwhelming.

Let me give you an example.  As mentioned before, I have twin boys. One with autism.  My son who doesn't have autism is desperately struggling on ways to connect with his brother.  He'll make him gifts, try to play with him, help him clean up his room, and even wrestle with him.  Imagine if we knew his love language…he could immediately use that love language in different situations to show him how much he loves him, which would help decrease any anxiety, increase the trust and decrease the stims.  This would eventually lead to more social gains and social language.  Right?  First, we need to find his love language.  (Yes, we are still trying to discover his primary love language by showering him with all five.  Which is pretty neat because it's teaching me to show my other son and even my husband all five love languages.)  Let's just say that his love language is Words of Affirmation.  All he needed to hear is "Great job!  I'm so proud of you!  You kicked that ball really hard!" from his brother.  If we knew this at the moment, their relationship would be stronger than ever right now.  But we don't know what it is.  So we keep learning how to show him more of the five love languages as best as we can in hopes that one day soon we will learn the best way to show him how much we love him.  Then, his brother can use the same love language to deepen their bond.

Chapter 7 is a very important one to read.  The authors do an excellent job with describing each of the different ways of discovering your child's love language.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Love Language #5: Acts of Service

(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 6 of The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, M.D.  Please know that what we all get out of a study is usually different.  We would love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well.  We suggest that you read the chapters in your book as well as participate in the study online by commenting below each post.  By doing so, we will all learn so much more!)

After reading Chapter 6:  Love Language #5: Acts of Service, I immediately ran upstairs to one of my sons and asked him just what Will (a father that Gary Chapman met at a seminar) had asked his son.  I looked at my son and asked "You know I love you, right?  Can you tell me how you know that I love you?"  (In this chapter, Will finds out about each of his sons' love languages by asking this simple but very important question to his sons.)  I was expecting my son to say "yes, sure I know.  You buy me things, you cook me dinner, you help me with my homework."  What I wasn't expecting was his true reply…"Of course you love me mom.  You always give up your seat on the couch for me, you let me sit by you while you drink your coffee in the mornings, you rub my head when you're talking to me and spend time with me when I ask you."  If you look back to the post on November 22nd when we talked about the love language of touch, I reassured everyone that his love language was definitely not touch.  What changed?  What made me realize that maybe this is his love language?  I started showing each of these love languages to both of children each day.  Maybe I'd rub his head when he ran by, spent some extra time playing a game, gave them words of affirmation, special gifts….just to make sure they both knew how much I truly love them.

As stated before, it's hard for me to tell the love language of my child with autism.  He can't really get into these in depth conversations that my other son can.  While I'm trying to navigate through these in depth conversations with my one son, I am making sure I am showing both sons all five love languages in hopes to discover the love language of my son with autism.  What I am discovering is really fascinating to me.  Not only do both of my sons have two main love languages, but it's also very easy to speak these love languages to them and is making our mother-son bonds that much stronger.

What does all of this have to do with Acts of Service, our next and final love language?  It's the love language I need to learn to speak in both boys in different ways.

My boys are twins.  One has autism.  One does not.  One is a daredevil.  One loves to play it safe.  With the previous love languages, I've pretty much been able to show them both in the same way.  This one will be different.  For my son with autism, Acts of service will include teaching him how to do his daily living skills like making his bed, taking out the trash, brushing his teeth, etc… For my son who doesn't have autism, it will be sitting down and helping him with his homework, helping him organize his desk and his bedroom…things that he is struggling with.  It's tough sometimes, though, with my boys being the same age.  I have to separate where Sean, my son with autism, should be with what he can be at this moment.  With Sean, my acts of service can be simply sitting down and building his Marble Run tower that he loves to build however takes a long time to complete.  For other son who struggles with being organized, I can show him this acts of service by cleaning out his closet and organizing it for him.  However, then teaching him how to do it himself to stay organized.

If you have not read this chapter, I recommend that you do.  There were a lot of good points and ideas to remember while showing your children this final love language.  The one that really meant the most to me was….

The ultimate purpose for acts of service to children is to help them emerge as mature adults who are able to give love to others through acts of service.  (p. 89)

Also, be sure to read the end of the chapter titled "What The Children Say".  It will really open your eyes!!!

I also love how they included this verse from the NIV Bible…

"When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.  But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed…"  Luke 14:12-14

Do you get the meaning in this?  It's not really about throwing a banquet.  It's about giving to those who can't give back.  Not to expect anything in return.  When you are doing these acts of services, you can't keep track of all you've done…for your children, for your spouse, for you friends/family/neighbors.  It's easy for us to keep track of it and then throw it back in the faces with people we know and love.  With complete strangers we do not.  Let's have the same attitude as we are serving our family.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this love language as well.  What are some acts of service you can do or are doing for your children/spouse/family?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Love Language #4: Gifts

Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 5 of The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell, M.D.  Please know that what we all learn from a  study is usually different.  We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well.  Please comment blow the post.   We also encourage you to read these chapters.  Reading our posts are not enough.  The authors include a lot of really inspiring stories that explain each gift that much further.  We'd love to hear from you on what you've learned from each reading! 

The fourth love language we learn about is gifts.  Everyone loves to receive gifts.  Christmas time, birthdays, and any kind of surprise present…who doesn't love to receive gifts?  However, this does not mean that we all have the love language of gifts.

Below are the things that impacted me the most with Chapter 4:

*  Giving and receiving gifts as a way to express love is a universal phenomenon.  (p. 73)
*  The grace of giving has little to do with the size and cost of the gift.  It has everything to do with love.  (p. 74)
*  As you give to them with grace, you want them to respond with grace, whether a gift is large or small.  (p. 74)
*  Be careful.  It's often tempting to shower children with gifts as substitutes for the other love languages.  (p. 75)
*  Gifts should be genuine expressions of love.  (p. 77)
*  Except for Christmas and birthdays, many gifts should be chosen by both you and your children.  (p. 77)
*  You may find a special gift as you walk down a winding road or even across a parking lot.  (p. 78)
*  Gifts can also be made out of household items.  (p. 78)
*  Her emotional needs had to be met before she had the capacity to receive or appreciate a gift in the same spirit i which it was given.  (p. 79)
*  Children whose primary love language is the receiving of gifts will make much of receiving the gift.  (p. 79)
*  These children need to have their love tanks kept full-they cannot grow to be their best without it.  Remember, your children may not now realize how much you are giving, even as you continue to fill their emotional tanks.  But as they grow older, they may look back and realize that your love and presence has been the best gift of all.  (p. 81)

What I loved about this chapter is how the authors made sure that we understood that just giving the gifts wasn't enough.  We need to be constantly filling their "emotional tanks" with the other gifts as well to help them appreciate the gifts and truly see our love.  Some times, it is a lot easier to hand our children the iPad with a freshly new purchased app instead of playing on the floor with them so Mommy can get a break.  It's ok to do this.  However, we need to make sure that we aren't constantly doing this and taking away the other love languages that our children so desperately need.  The more we are filling their "emotional tanks" the more love they feel from us and for the child whose love language is gifts…the more they appreciate the gift.