The 5 Love Languages
Gary Chapman
Contributed by Roseanne Meinecke
Chapter 13
Summary

The author states that the Five Love Languages are also applicable to children. He suggests that parents should nurture their children with all the five expressions of emotional love so that it helps them identify which one their children respond to best. Chapman tells the story of Bobby who comes back home from school and jumps on his father’s lap all the way up to his head to rough up his father's hair. Bobby is a child who is communicating that he loves to be touched and needs the physical touch reciprocated by his father. Bobby's primary love language is physical touch, and if talked to in the correct manner, his love tank will stay full.

Chapman illustrates different scenarios of how children act to show their primary language of love. He argues that if your child treasures the habit of making small tokens of appreciation for a parent, then the child yearns to receive gifts as their primary language. Such a child attaches emotions and feeling to gifts because they provoke positive reactions from their parents. The actions carried out by children are subconscious since the child does not relate to the concept that if he gives he receives. If parents discover the primary language of their children and keep on replenishing it, then children develop emotional stability. However, if the child’s love language gets ignored, relationship problems will almost certainly happen in adulthood.

Chapman uses research from Dr. Ross Campbell showing that most sexual misconducts by teenager’s root from the fact that their primary love language was never nurtured thus resulting in an empty love tank. The author elaborates that when a teenager runs away from home, they usually feel dejected and unloved by their parents. The problem pointed out by the author is that their love language was never communicated, again resulting in a dry love tank. Chapman states that parents have the habit of buying what their children want, but hardly find the time to play with their children. Purchasing a ball for a child and finding time to play with them are two different things; thus, parents need to learn their children's primary emotional love language.

Analysis

The importance of a parent is to bring up a child and nurture them in all aspects; physically, mentally and psychologically. Children need to feel loved, but parents fail to understand the modes of communicating love to their children. It is very important to learn and discover your child’s love language so that you can keep on replenishing their love tank. Children learn to love from the way their parents show love and if they do not visibly observe and experience love then the emotional deficit piles up throughout adolescence and adulthood. Parents fail to understand their teenagers, yet they do not seek to understand them from an emotional perspective. Buying stuff for your children is not enough to show love but staying to play and share time with the children is an act of love that replenishes the love tank.

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