Sunday, June 3, 2012

Review of The 5 Love Languages of Children

At my previous teaching job, ten years ago, my boss was always asking me if I knew what each child's love language was. I had no idea what she was talking about at first. Then, she finally told me about a book called The 5 Love Languages of Children. It was originally published in 1997, which would have been the edition to which she was referring. In 2005 it was updated; now it has been updated yet again in 2012.

Every child has a particular way in which he demonstrates or best accepts love. Some children respond best to that physical touch. They like to be hugged and kissed or even to have a backrub. Others thrive on "words of affirmation." They want to be told all the time what a good job they are doing, to be encouraged. Some just want to spend quality time with their parents. Some prefer gifts. And finally, some demonstrate love the best through acts of service. Each child's emotional needs are going to manifest in a different way. This book is a guide for parents to figure out what the child's needs are and how to satisfy them.

Each love language is given its own chapter for definition and includes ways to fulfill that emotional need without going overboard and having the opposite effect. Real stories of real children and adults provide examples as to how these needs can manifest. The author also points out how different it can be from when a child is in preschool to when she is a teenager.

Advice on how to discipline and educate children based on their love languages also makes up a couple of chapters. These parts in particular can help educators as they work with a variety of children. So many children in classrooms have so many different needs today. Sometimes they just aren't getting what they need at home and look to receive it at school. Teachers who are familiar with the 5 love languages can help to also educate parents as to how best help their children.

At the end of the book are resources for more information. There is also an exercise known as the Love Language Game, adapted for each age group. Groups of parents and teachers may wish to utlilize the discussion guide at the end of the book to strategize for different children.

The information in this book is familiar to me, as I have implemented the ideas for several years in my classroom. It felt good to finally read the book that explains all of it, as a sort of refresher course. I would recommend it to parents and educators.

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