Parenting Book Review: The Five Love Languages of Children

by - November 14, 2019



Authors: Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Ross Campbell
Personal Rating: 5/5 

From the author of The Five Love Languages, Dr. Chapman teamed up with psychiatrist and author of How to Really Love Your Child Dr. Campbell to write a variant of the book that focuses on children. This book helps parents discover their children's love languages and provides practical advice on how to use the love languages to discipline their child more effectively.


A Focus on Loving Children Effectively

As the title suggests, the book focuses on methods in speaking your child's love language and therefore loving them more effectively. 

The book works on the premise that all parents love their children, but does your children actually feel that love?

Dr. Chapman and Dr. Campbell emphasizes how making your children feel unconditionally loved every single day is the very foundation of building a positive and harmonious relationship with them.

And this includes being able to discipline and correct their behavior more effectively as well.

The first few chapters discussed the five different love languages—physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, and acts of service

Each chapter goes into detail the different ways children manifest the need for these love languages, as well as practical suggestions on how parents can speak these love languages to their children.

There are also age-appropriate suggestions on how to discover your child's primary love language.

The authors, however, heavily emphasizes that a person's love language is fluid; that is, it can change over time and may change depending on a particular growth stage. 

They stressed that although your child may have a primary love language, it's crucial to speak all five love languages as much as possible.

Emphasis on Positive Forms of Discipline

One of this book's strongest suits is how it emphasizes the use of positive forms of discipline over negative and punitive discipline techniques. To quote, Dr. Chapman and Dr. Campbell says:

"Nothing makes a child more desperate than a lack of love. However, it does not make sense to demand good behavior from a child without first making sure he feels loved."

"A child who misbehaves has a need. To overlook the need behind the misbehavior can prevent us from doing the right thing [loving them effectively and filling their love tanks]."

 The chapter on "Discipline and the Love Languages" goes on to discuss five ideas on how to control your child's behavior: two positive methods (making requests and gentle physical manipulation), two negative methods (issuing commands and punishment), and one neutral method (behavior modification—i.e., positive and negative reinforcements).

While the authors do not advocate the use of punishment and other forms of negative discipline, they do emphasize the importance of expressing your love to your child before and after administering punishment. 

Spanking is, of course, discouraged at all costs. The form of negative reinforcement suggested by this book is withdrawing certain privileges directly related to the offense.

They further emphasize that the key to effectively correcting the behavior of a child is to do it in the context of love, and in doing so, you should honor and respect their love language.

For example, not using criticism if your child values words of affirmation, or not using time-outs when their love language is quality time, etc.

The Verdict

Hands down, this is the best parenting book that I've ever read. It is an easy and quick read, and one that you can readily digest even when you're not well-versed in the concept of love languages.

The illustrations and suggestions in the book are also quite workable and can be easily applied in practice.

I highly suggest this book to any parentwhether you have young children or adult children. Love, after all, is timeless and it's never too late to make someone feel loved, especially your children.

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