Learning to speak our children’s language

Manuela Castellanos

I recently found a book titled, The Five Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman. This book teaches how children perceive love and receive it.

 

As parents, we not only need to meet the physical needs of our children. Our priority is to meet the emotional needs with which they were created.

 

“It is much easier to discipline and train your child when they fill loved, versus when their emotional tank is almost empty. The way we fill cars with gasoline, we need to fill our children’s emotional tanks so they can behave as they should and reach their full potential.”

 

After reading about the different languages Chapman mentions in his book (physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service), Rich and I were able to examine our son and reached the conclusion that Noah receives love through quality time.

 

Quality time refers to a time focused and completely dedicated to them. The most important thing in this language is not what you do, but that you do it together. Noah’s favorite words are, “Mommy let’s play!” The way my husband and I keep Noah’s love tank full is by setting time aside to play with him every day. I try to dedicate at least one hour a day to have fun with Noah.

 

These are a few of the things we do:

  1. Silly Dance- Noah and I love to dance. We love to play music really loud and just dance. Now that my second son, Nathan, has started walking, it’s amazing how they connect and copy what I do. We have a blast! I think that part of being parents who meet their children’s needs is to not be afraid to be like kids. In other words, it’s okay to be a little silly! 😀
  2. Tell me a story- every single night before Noah goes to sleep, we tell him a story. He chooses the book he wants us to read to him, and usually, we negotiate how many stories we will read that night. At the moment, his favorite story is David and Goliath.
  3. Build things- Noah loves train tracks, lego cities, and his favorite show at the moment is Octonauts. Last week, we decided to build an “octopod”, which is the ship that appears in the show. We took some cardboard boxes we had lying around, a few construction tools and together, built this “ship”.
  4. We all love to enjoy nature, so we go for a walk or bike ride to the park.

 

All of these activities fill up Noah’s emotional tank and allow me to work, lead a cell group or be with other people. He respects these moments because our time with him is a daily priority.