How well are you loving your children?

Our life depends on the air that we breath, we die without it. In the same way our relationships emotionally die without appreciation and affection.

Gary Chapman, Ph.D. & Ross Campbell, M.D. share in their book The Five Love Languages for Children that your children (and all your relationships) will experience your love more fully if you communicate with them in their primary love language. That is the way you individually like to experience love and feel the connection more fully. When you speak in their primary love language they get their emotional love tank (similar to a car’s gas tank) filled so they can function best in life. If their emotional love tank is not filled, they often go to great lengths to get those needs met, sometimes using destructive behaviors.

The key is to observe how your child expresses love to you and others. This will be the way they will best receive love.

  • Words of AffirmationDemonstrate your love using the power of words. Catch your children doing well and commend them for it.
  • Words of affection and endearment
  • Words of praise and encouragement
  • Words of positive guidance
  • Physical TouchDemonstrate your love using physical touch.
  • Hugs & Kisses
  • High Five’s
  • Running your fingers through their hair
  • Riding them piggyback
  • Wrestling on the floor
  • Shoulder rubs
  • Arm around shoulders
  • Holding hands               
  • Act of ServiceDemonstrate your love by freely and cheerfully helping your child in areas of their life. Helping your child do what they can’t do for themselves.
  • Fix a bike
  • Mend a toy
  • Quality TimeDemonstrate your love by giving your undivided attention during personal one-on-one time with each child alone.
  • At bedtime
  • Read a story
  • Walks
  • Running errands
  • GiftsDemonstrate your love by giving gifts both large or small. Give them in a way that will have meaning for your child.
  • Make gifts
  • Treats
  • Make the giving an event

Next: Digging for Diamonds: Hunting for hidden talents

What is Appreciation and Affection about?

Strong family relationships are permeated with expressions of appreciation and affection. They let each other know that on a daily basis that each is appreciated but with an added ingredient- real and genuine feelings, “from the heart”.

Appreciation & Affection has six (6) secrets to cultivation*:

  1. Dig for Diamonds- find those hidden qualities in each other
  2. Affirm Your Children Verbally
  3. Expect Your Children to be Affectionate & Appreciative
  4. Share Humor & Playfulness
  5. Purposely Encourage Affection & Appreciation

*Adapted from Fantastic Families by Dr. Nick & Nancy Stinnett and Joe & Alice Beam