Over the Christmas holiday I did the online survey with each of my children to discover their love language, as described by Gary Chapman (Ph.D) & Ross Campbell (M.D.) in The Five Love Languages of Children. It was a fun one-on-one time with each of them, and I must say it has been insightful. It has helped me respond, guide and love each of them in ways that speak best to them as individuals. Love is the foundation. Here is a fun excerpt/reminder :-)...
"You may find it helpful to frequently remind yourself of some rather obvious things about your children:
1. They are children.
2. They will tend to act like children.
3. Much childish behavior is unpleasant.
4. If I do my part as a parent and love them, despite their childish behavior, they will mature and give up their childish ways.
5. If I love them only when they please me (conditional love), and if I express my love to them only at those times, they will not feel genuinely loved. This will damage their self image, make them feel insecure, and actually prevent them from moving into better self-control and more mature behavior. Therefore, their development and behavior is as much my responsibility as it is theirs.
6. If I love them only when they meet my requirements or expectations, they will feel incompetent and will believe it is pointless to do their best, since it is never enough. They will always be plagued by insecurity, anxiety, low self-esteem, and anger. To guard against this, I need to often remind myself of my responsibility for their total growth.
7. If I love them unconditionally, they will feel comfortable about themselves and will be able to control their anxiety and their behavior as they grow to adulthood.
Parenting is an incredible sanctifying work. I'm so grateful for God's grace and patience with me! I pray He would continue to grant me grace, patience, wisdom and ability to shadow His unconditional love that He has bestowed upon us to my precious children. We are having fun....