Best of 2022: How to Speak Your Child’s Love Language – Dr. Gary Chapman and Jean Daly

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Dr. Gary Chapman is best-known for helping people discover their primary love language: Physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, and acts of service. In this broadcast, Dr, Chapman helps parents understand their child’s primary and secondary love language to keep their son or daughter’s “love tank” filled and to strengthen the parent-child bond. Jean Daly joins the discussion to share personal examples from the Daly family.

 

 

sincerity is not enough. We had to learn how to communicate love to each individual child and what makes one child feel love will not necessarily make another child feel love. Welcome to the focus on the family broadcast, helping families thrive. That’s Dr. Gary Chapman describing the five love languages and he’s our guest on this top program from 2022. He’ll suggest that while most parents love their Children, well they want their Children to feel loved. Few of us know how to effectively communicate those feelings. And so we’ll get help from Dr chapman today on focus on the family. Your host is focused President and author Jim Daly and I’m john fuller john we’ve shared many times on the program that parenting is rewarding, but it’s hard work and it’s great to hear from Dr Gary chapman along with my dear wife jean who offers that mom perspective. When we first aired this discussion, a listener jenny let us know that she was listening in her car and ended up having what we call a driveway moment. She told us she couldn’t stop listening because it was such a blessing. She said, it gave me an eye opening perspective on so many issues that we deal with when it comes to our two youngest sons who are 10 and 12. Well, let me just say thanks to jenny for that feedback and I know other parents will want to stay with this for this great parenting program. And Dr Gary chapman is the author of the bestselling book. The five Love languages. It sold more than 14 million copies and he’s taken the concepts from that book and applied them to parenting so we can better know how to love our kids through their own love language. And he wrote about it in the Five Love Languages of Children. We of course have copies of that here at the ministry call 800, the letter a and the word family or you’ll find the link in the program notes. Gary is a pastor and counselor and he and his wife, Carolyn have been married for over 50 years and they have two grown Children. Here’s the start of this best of conversation on focus on the family. Gary. Welcome back. It’s always good to have you gene welcome into the studio. It is, it’s a pleasure avenue. Obviously, Gary, let’s get going on this. I’m I’m excited about helping parents do the best job they can do. And you know, it’s a tough task. Like we talked about how do we as parents often fall short in expressing our heartfelt love for our kids, even though they’re frustrating us Well, you know, jim, I think that most parents are sincere and I think most parents love their Children, but the Children don’t always feel loved and we recognize that one of the deepest emotional needs that a child has is the need to feel loved by the significant people in their lives and the parents are the most significant people in their lives. Uh I’ve sometimes said in every child, there’s an emotional love tank, you know, and if the love tank is full, the child grows up emotionally healthy. If the love tank is empty and the child feels like they don’t love me, they grow up with a lot of internal emotional struggles in the teenage years, they will often go looking for love typically in the wrong places. So, uh, this book, I’m trying to help parents realize that sincerity is not enough. We have to learn how to communicate love to each individual child and what makes one child feel Love will not necessarily make another child feel right. It’s so true. You know, and parents come into this with their own baggage. I mean we don’t get a manual from the hospital says here’s how you parent, that would be a good thing. Maybe focus should develop that, but but the point of that is, you know, we bring our own scars, our own wounds into this and temperaments are different. You know, Gene is, is kind of the black and white thinker in our relationship. And, and I think for me, I’m probably lean a little more into the relationship. What do you think, jean? And so in that context though, how can we learn to be um intentional about filling the tank when we have our own deficits? Yeah, well we, we all have a history that we didn’t choose and then some of our history we did choose and we made for decisions along the way. And so sometimes I think the beginning place for a parent, if they realize, you know, I don’t know that I’m doing a really good job with this parenting thing. Maybe it’s to ask, you know, somebody else, you know, how hell, what do you think? And maybe there’s a place to apologize to Children and to say, you know, I realize I haven’t been doing this or that or whatever, you know, and I, I just, I want to ask you to forgive me. I want to be a better parent and I’m trying to be a better parent. So if we realize that we’re all in process, none of us are perfect parents and you don’t have to be a perfect parent to have healthy Children, We do have to deal with our failures and that’s we’re apologizing to the child and let the child forgive us. We’re teaching them a real skill because they’re gonna have to learn to apologize to somewhere along the line. Yeah. In the book, you you say that saying, I love you isn’t enough. I probably air in that side, I’d say a lot of I love you’s, but I don’t know that I go the extra mile describe what that extra mile should look like. Well, I think whatever we grew up with is probably what we do or whatever makes us feel loved is what we tend to do for the other person, can you give me an example? Well, if words of affirmation is my love language, if that’s what makes me feel loved, then I’ll probably give my child words of affirmation. I’ll tell them how great they’re doing sports. I’ll tell them how wonderful and how proud I am that they made a b in that class. Or, You know, I’ll give them words of Africa and I’ll say the words I love you over and over again, because that’s important. Absolute. But if words is not that child’s language, they will not necessarily feel loved, even though we’re sincere, they won’t be getting it. I remember a 13 year old who was in my office, he’d run away from home and he said to me in the course of our conversation, my parents don’t love me. They love my brother, but they don’t love me. I knew his parents, I knew they loved him. The problem is they had never discovered his primary love language and consequently, maybe they were giving him words of affirmation, but his language was one of the other languages and consequently he didn’t feel loved. Yeah, let’s, since we’ve opened that door, let’s quickly go over the five love languages and discuss primary and secondary. Okay, well, these are no particular order, but physical touch is a way to express love. We’ve long known that. Words of affirmation is a way of expressing love quality time, by which I mean, you give the child your undivided attention And then there’s gifts is an act of service and that’s the receiving of receiving of gifts. The receiving of gifts that trips people up. I think when I try to describe it, they’re going really that that you receiving a gift is your love language not giving a gift. Yeah. I think, I think often we think in terms of what is my love language, but we’re talking about the other person’s love language and receiving the gift. If receiving gifts makes you feel love, you probably give your kids all kind of gifts. But maybe their language is words of affirmation and you don’t give them words of affirmation. So you’re why wouldn’t you feel love man? You’ve got so many things, you know, so we tend to express kind of in in some regards, the way we want to be loved is what you’re saying. So jim and jean, I’ll go ahead and just throw you in the spotlight and wonder when did you discover some of these concepts for your own boys? Because there’s a lot here to learn. Well, it’s kind of funny because I was reading the book years ago with my boys were nearby me, which Troy particularly. And I remember going through it. I was getting ready to do the broadcast with you Gary. And I think Troy was four years old. He’s now 19 if that makes any of us feel better. But I remember I was reading them out loud and I said Detroit, which one of these best describes you? And I read through them as soon as I said, physical touch, he goes, that’s me. I mean, he knew it. He was four years old. He was, that’s me. I love hugs dad. I love hugs. I love when you tickle my back. And uh, I think for Gene, you were more in tune with Trent. Well, yes. But also with Troy, I would say it was uh, I think it was easy to pick up on with him because he was always hugging us, always hugging his brother. Yes. And I look at photos when they were young and Troy was always hugging. So he was easy to pick up on his love language at a young age. Our oldest son Trent. He was more difficult to decipher what his love language was. And and he did take the quiz and I think where did he land? He words of affirmation was number one. And then quality time. Yeah. So remember Trent. It was so funny because when he was 56 years old, I’d go to hug him and he’d be like a cardboard cutout. His hands would be down to his side. And I literally had to teach him how to hug. You know, just give me a big hug and try to squeeze my kidneys. That’s what that got him going okay. But today he’s a pretty good hugger. He’s he’s a great hugger. And I would like to just say, even though with trend, so we didn’t know that his love language when he was younger was words of affirmation, thankfully I had listened to focus on the family broadcast and knew that it was important to catch your child doing something, right? And that was that there was a time where that was challenging. But you do say that, don’t you catch them doing something right? And affirm them in that Gary. Let me ask you your actual background in college was anthropology. If I remember, and you’ve compared kind of foreign language skills with emotional language skills. So explain that. And especially in the context of helping your Children, how does that all come together in your mind? Well, you know, if you speak chinese and I speak only english with a southern accent, chances are chances are I can just speak to you all kinds of things and you don’t get any of it because it’s a different language. So if I want to communicate to you really, I have to learn to speak chinese and you have to learn to speak english if we’re gonna really have a relationship. And I think the same thing is true with Children and parents. You know, if a parent has one love language, let’s say words of affirmation or any any one of them. And this is what they will normally give to that child. But since that’s not the child’s love language, the child doesn’t receive it emotionally, they hear it, but they don’t get it emotionally. And that’s what we’re talking about meeting the emotional need to feel loved. And so this is why I think this book has been so helpful to so many parents through the years is helping them understand if you have three Children, they may each have a different love language. And and and please don’t hear me saying that you only speak their primary love language. You give heavy doses of the primary, but you Sprinkle in the other four. I mean, the child needs to learn how to receive love and give love and all five languages, that’s the healthiest adult. Most of us did not receive all five growing up. So we came to adulthood and some of these were not very natural for us. But the key issue is that you give heavy doses of their primary language and they’re gonna feel that, and I just wanna for the listener that might just be jumping in just quickly. The five love languages again, are words of affirmation acts of service quality time. So, that’s the context. You mentioned the idea of love and your kids feeling love. I think we struggle, especially in the christian community, um unconditional love, I think only jesus could deliver that, you know, really, if we’re honest about it, because there’s always a bit of performance involved, especially with our kids, and we don’t want to be there and were taught by great thinkers like yourself, but you know another D and how how do we not damage our kids and motivate them and show them unconditional of maybe in a tender place in our own heart that it’s hard for us to do because your performance reflects upon me. Oh yeah. Well I think with words we have to recognize, we want to affirm them for effort, not for perfection. Hmm. Remember a 13 year old young man was in the hospital with ulcers, stomach ulcers. And I was asked to go visit him in the context. I said to him, how do you and your dad get along? And he said, I don’t ever please my father. And I said, can you give me an example? He said, well if I make a b on the report card, my father will say you should have made an able you’re smarter than this. And later in the conversation, he gave me another example. He said, if I mow the grass on saturday, my dad will say you didn’t get out of the bushes, can’t you see the grass under the bushes? And he said, when I play ball, if I make a double, my father will say you should have made a triple out of that boy, you gotta learn how to run. I knew what his father was trying to do, he was trying to motivate him to give his best, whatever it was. But do you understand what the sun was hearing? I don’t ever please my father. So let me, let me ask you. Gary as as a dad and I think dad’s struggle with this more than mom’s. Um how do we dial that back? How do we consciously grab that? Because those are probably patterns that we learned as kids, especially boys like this young man, he may repeat that with his kids. Yeah, if he doesn’t learn it, you know, and that’s what I say is this look, if the child brings home a B. And you think they should have made an A. That’s the day to praise him for the B. Yeah son A B. That’s good. It’s next week that you say, you know last week your report card, you made a B. On this. I bet you could make an A. Let’s try this, you know. Yeah. Now some parents have said to me, yeah, that’s okay if they made a B. But what if they made a D. And I say, well it is better than it’s better than a D. Minus son. You made a D. Uh that’s that’s good. You know, and then we talk about let’s make it better and and the time to point out the grass under the bushes is not the day they mowed the grass. That’s the day you praise them for the grass. That’s mode. I think another good parenting skill to develop is hearing from your child’s perspective. What is your child gonna hear when you say you miss the grass under the bushes, right? If you can empathize with that a little bit, that might dial down that perfection that we may even mistakenly be expressing. Yeah, this is boy, This is love languages. But this is really every parent needs to be dialed in right now to hear what you’re saying because our words means so much to our kids. Uh, we’re talking to dr Gary chapman today on focus on the family and Gene daily in the studio with us. I’m john fuller, our host. Jim daly. The book that we’re covering today is the Five Love Languages of Children written by Gary chapman and the late ross Campbell. Uh, we do have copies of that here at the ministry. Just give us a call 800 the letter a and the word family or click the link on your screen. Gary and gene, let’s let’s work through these now. Physical touch. We’ve talked about it. So let’s go there, Jean. Just as a practical example when we, you know, kind of fell into the observation that troy was physical touch. That’s me. How did that guide your parenting with him? How did you embrace that and engage it? Well, it was easy when he was young because you wanna hug your little your little boys. But the older he got that was more more challenging for me. But I would be intentional about scratching his back or putting my hand on his back, something that’s unnatural for me, but I knew it was important to him or even scratching. He loves, he would love for jim to scratch his arm on the couch next to my chair and put his arm across almost every night. I mean it’s so sweet. Yes, but it did you learn to verbally engage him by putting your hand on his shoulder and touching him in some way? And that’s great. It’s a little harder gary, isn’t it when they become teenagers because things might change a little bit. I’m thinking of guys whose daughters are physical touch. Yeah, I think what we have to recognize is is they get to be teenagers, we have to change different forms. You know, when they were little, we were hugging them and they were sitting on our lap and all that sort of thing. They get to be teenagers and maybe it’s high fives and wrestling to the floor or if it’s a daughter, you know, you’re giving you still giving her hugs and some fathers have kind of drawn back in those early teenage years from hugging their daughters because they’ve heard so much about, you know, sexual abuse etcetera. And I say if you don’t keep hugging her, she’ll find an 18 year old guy who will so don’t don’t, you know, real practical example and Jean, you’ve mentioned this to me with your own dad there was a moment that you can mention the age, I can’t recall exactly. But you said you just remember your dad pulling back, he used to Carry me to bed and then just one day, I mean it stopped and he hugged me once when I was 15 and I cried. So it’s something caused him to pull back. I appreciate your point and I appreciate you talking about that gear because my girls still as adults Lean into me for a hug and I love that. I think it’s really healthy. Okay, let’s move to Words of affirmation. What Gary does a child whose primary love language is? Words of affirmation need to hear from mom and dad. And again, I love this. It sounds elementary, but some of us don’t get this. This probably is a little weaker area for me. So I’m asking for a friend of mine, Words of affirmation. How do we effectively as a parent express that? Well, I think we recognize 1st. 1st of all, you can focus on the child, you know, the way they look, maybe the muscles they have or the smile they have on their face or just things like that about them and say, you know, you’re so beautiful when you smile, just looking for things about them physically and maybe their personality and and focusing on that. But it also can be focusing on things that they’re doing that you really want to see them learn how to do. And so maybe after a Ballgame, you see your son go over to a guy who just missed a shot and he gives them encouraging words. So dad says later to him, hey man, I saw what you did tonight and I know he felt badly about missing that shot, man. That’s great when you give people encouraging words, it’s looking for things that they’re already doing once in a while, but you verbally affirm that, and it tends to build that into their lifestyle. And I think jean, I don’t know that I’m effective with Trent because we kind of learned late that words of affirmation, he, it just was not obvious and he he’s a bit stoic, you know, he’s very science minded and, you know, talks very matter of factly, he’s very factual in his thinking. So, you know, I was kind of thrown and then words of affirmation, I think you did a great job jean, but how do you go about doing that with Trent? Well, now that he’s older, 21 that’s one positive use of technology, I will text him and it’s, I’ll text him, you know, Trent, I’m just so proud of you for whatever it is, and it, you know, I think, um it needs to be sincere gary. You have such a touching story in the book about a school teacher who asked her class to write affirming words about their classmates and it profoundly hit one of the students what happened? Yeah, well, they, they each wrote affirming words for every other student in the class and those words that those were then given to those students. And years later, this was in the middle school class. Years later, one of those students was actually killed in Vietnam in the battle, but in his clothing, they found some of those statements that people had given him and they returned those to the family and the family shared some of those with that teacher. Just so she would know how deeply that particular experience meant to that young man. That those words, those positive affirming words he had with him when he was killed. He carried them with him. It’s powerful, especially if words is their language. Words of affirmation, written, spoken sung, speak deeply, and that’s illustrative of the impact of a child with the parents. Words right, bring it right back to our relationship with their kids. I mean, in their heart they’re carrying that note. Absolutely. You know, there’s an ancient hebrew proverb that says life and death is in the power of the tongue. Negative words given to a child whose primary love language is words is death. You can actually kill your relationship with a child by giving them negative words and especially if this is their primary language. Now, it will hurt any child, but it will really, it’s like a dagger in the heart of that child. So I think as parents, we need to think about the words we’re communicating to our Children because if all they hear is condemnation from us and they don’t hear any affirmation, we’re literally killing our relationship with that child. Gary. I keep coming back to this. But you counsel so many parents, they come to you for help because they’re desperate and in that context, how does a parent who is in that rut for whatever reason, kind of going back to the dad, hey, you missed the grass under the bushes or it could be even more extreme, right? Where there’s a constant drumbeat of negativity from the parent and you know, hopefully in the christian community first off that we have a relationship with christ and we know that the fruit of the spirit is the way to operate, not in dissension and disunity and casting dispersions on people. That’s not God’s spirit for us, right? And in that context for that parent who is struggling. What hook would you give them if they were sitting on your couch in your office and they were expressing this to I just Gary, I just don’t know how to get out of that groove. It’s what my dad did to me. Well, I think first of all it’s recognizing that it’s happening because many times parents are not aware of what they’re doing until they really start thinking about it. They hear something like we were just talking about, they say, oh, I think I think I’m doing that, you know, that’s the first step is recognizing that what you’re doing is is not helping it’s making things worse. And then I think it’s followed by an apology to the child may be saying, you know, I was listening to focus on the family and they were talking about the topic and I came to realize that I probably give you far more negative words than I give you positive words. Do you feel that way? And the child will probably pour their heart out. That’s all I ever hear from you, mom or dad? Okay, that’s the first step. Now we’ve got it out in the open, then you apologize to that child. I never really, I didn’t think, you know, my dad did that to me, my mom did that to me and here I am doing it to you and I don’t want to do that anymore, you know, and I just want to ask you to forgive me and I want to try to learn how to see the positive things you’re doing because you’re doing so many good things and I just want to focus on those and not on the negative words I’ve been giving you that is that’s the turnaround. It’s that process and then God will give us the ability to change. We can, we’re human and we can change, we can change broken patterns and in that, that desire for awareness going all the way back to filling your child’s love tank, What are the adjectives that describe a child who has a full tank and a child who doesn’t? Well, I think a child who has a full tank, typically they have a positive spirit. They relate to the parents in a positive way. Uh you send smiles on their face. Children who don’t feel loved and appreciated will not be smiling much and they will not be, they will not be given the parent positive words There and and to their friends, they may be complaining about what’s going on long before they complain to their parents about it. If if in that context, those broken relationships, you know that and we know some people that are in this place and it breaks our hearts where their 16 year old son or daughter is not connected any longer, may not even be in the home anymore living with family, friends or something like that. How does that parent begin to rebuild that relationship when it’s that broken? Well, I think it takes time, but there has to always be a first step and the child has to be willing to reciprocate before you can take a step. But if you apologize to them sincerely, let them know you would really like to make relationships better and whatever opportunity you do have, you begin to affirm them or speak their love language at that And they began to see that you’re sincere and you really are changing then there can be reconciliation. Yeah. And that is the goal. And I think the five love languages give parents a framework to do that. Whether it’s at the beginning of that relationship or in a strained aspect of the relationship probably in the later 10 years as we know, we’ve only covered physical touch. Gary and words of affirmation. The next three. Let’s just start with quality time. What does that communicate to a child? And again, I think this is one where I can fumble a bit so you can chastise me quality time. A lot of dad’s pride struggle here. Yeah. Quality time is giving the child your undivided attention. Yeah, that’s the problem. You know, in today’s world we are multitaskers. You know, so, okay your kids talking to you and you’re on your computer or you’re reading a magazine and you’re listening, but they don’t have your full attention and that’s not quality time. And so the child feels like something on his computer is more important than I am. Or if you’re talking to a child and having a conversation and your phone rings and you answer your phone again to that child. It says somebody out there is more important than I am now I understand some people have to be on duty. You know, medical doctors and all. So you just say to the child, honey, this is an emergency, but stay right here. I want to finish our conversation. You let them know that they have your full attention. That’s at the heart of quality time now. You know I kind of threw dads on the fire there. But gene let me ask you to as a busy mom and you know some moms are working outside the home there certainly working inside the home and your spent and yet you know your kids need quality time. How’s that resonate for you as a busy mom? Yes. Well let’s face it, There are not enough hours in a day when you have Children in the home to get everything done. So we have to prioritize our time. And um I found you know, you just have to come up with creative ways and and that’s why broadcast like this and dr chapman’s book, we have all these helpful resources to find creative ways to spend time with your kids. I can remember us when Trent was young. He loved playing talkie toys and the action heroes would interact with each other. And I really one day I watched the clock. I would have said I was spending 20 minutes with him every time I did that and I watched the clock one day one time it was three minutes. But it was enough. But it was it was enough. But I think also finding like I’m finding ways to do things that you want to to do uh as well with their child may be spending time reading a bedtime story together or rubbing their back at night. Now I was thinking that spending time in the car counted as quality time dr. I am, I am I mistaken if they’re on their screen and you’re driving the car quality time. But if there’s a conversation going on, it’s quality time well, and you’ve mentioned, and with that time in the car, with your Children not asking questions that can be answered with a yes or no, so open ended questions or questions that can be answered with fine. But I did use that time in the car to try to draw out at some conversation and and get into the world a little bit elaborate on that and define that. I think conversation is important. That’s only one what I call dialect because as you say, it could be playing a game with them together, they still have your full attention. But I remember for example, uh that the child brings home a piece of art that they did at school and the parent says, oh, that’s nice, that’s beautiful, You did a good job with that. No conversation. That’s a monologue, that’s affirming words, that was fine, but that’s not quality time. But if after saying that the mom says to that child, what were you thinking about when you do that? So I was thinking that we were down at grandmother’s house and remember we had a picnic outside under the oak tree and this was the dog, remember he ate my hot dog and I didn’t like him but I like him now and now you know, now you’re having conversation and what did you feel like? You know when you were writing that? So it’s not just giving affirming words. This is where words of affirmation and quality time differ quality time and it doesn’t have to be a long time. You mentioned it could be a brief time. For example, a mother’s fixing uh potato salad and the five year old says, mommy, can we play, can we play Mommy? And she said, honey, I’ve got to finish the potato salad and in two minutes they’re back, can we play now, Mommy can we play now? And this goes on two or three times that child’s language is quality time, They’re begging you for it. So if you know that, why not give them five minutes before you start the potato salad. I hear the distinction though being for a child with quality time you’re dialing into them and what they’re feeling as they do something or express something. You know, one thing again, I’ll pull it toward the dad’s side with quality time, You know, Hey, let’s watch the football game and they really don’t want to do that. I mean, I noticed that with yeah, I mean troy is just coming around at 19 now where he’ll sit and watch a bit of a game with me but it’s never the whole game. And one of the points I make is to speak quality time. You have to go to where the child is. If they’re little, you’re on the floor, rolling the ball back and forth. You know, we they have your full attention. If the phone rings and you answer the phone now, you still roll the ball, but they don’t have your full attention. Gary. Let me ask you this because this is again, something that has to be intentional. You know, and I’m not gonna just stereotype. Yes, I am. I’m gonna stereotype. So guy comes home, he’s tired and four and five year old kiddos or one time and he wants to watch the news. You know, it’s news, weather and sports Time click click click. You’re kind of decompressing from work. I I think with Gene’s help sometimes not gentle, but she’s like, you know, the boys need your time. I don’t think that news station needs your time right now or that football game and it took a little time of her persistence. But I think I finally caught it and turned it off. I would want to hear your affirmation for dad’s, particularly when you get home take that few minutes to decompress, then engage your kids because it’s not gonna last very long. Yeah. I think the word you used earlier jean priority. We have to choose our priorities. And when you have Children in the home, then they should be one of your top priorities, your spouse should be your first top priority. But then the Children it’s more important than anything you’re gonna watch on tv anything you’re gonna be doing on the computer. And if you realize that you keep bringing yourself back to that, you know okay I’ve got to do this. Would you describe that as habits? I think if you get into a habit and you got to break the habit. Yeah, absolutely. And when we can break habits and we have to replace them with something different. So what we’re replacing them with is in this in this case is quality time with our Children. Yeah so keep going moms keep pressing dad but okay let’s move to gifts. This is the one for me as I did the quiz, this is at the far end of I don’t really care, I’ve noticed this is and again this is the risk receiving of gifts. I think jean you’ve probably seen this for me. It’s like if you get me one christmas present or 10 it doesn’t really matter. And its first describe that scrooge mentality and then help me better understand that when this is a person’s love language, what that looks like if this is the child’s love language and let’s say you didn’t give them a birthday gift that kids are gonna feel like they don’t love me. You know now parents will typically give birthday gifts and christmas gifts, you know, But if quality, if if gifts is their language, you have to give gifts more often than just birthdays and christmas, but the gifts don’t have to be expensive. Sometimes parents say, well you want this to teach the materialism, It’s things things, things that they don’t have to be expensive. You can pick up a stone in a city parking lot and take it home and give it to an eight year old boy if the gift is his language and say, man, I found this today and I thought about you look at the colors in here, man, I wanted you to have this. If gifts is his love language, You’ll find that stone in his dresser drawer when he’s 23 and he’ll remember the day you gave it to him. Isen’t that something the power of that? Absolute. That is really something Gary. Let’s go to the last one. And we have a few more questions for you here. But that idea of acts of service most moms probably feel. And I’ll get your affirmation on this gene that they serve their kids all day long. So how how do you differentiate between this love language and just the normal, I’m taking care of everything here. Well, I do think that we are forced as parents to speak this love language from the moment they’re born, they can’t do anything. We put the food in, we take the food out, I mean we got to do it all, you know, and so in those early years were doing for them things they cannot do for themselves. But another part of this love language is teaching them how to do things for themselves. And this takes more time and energy. A six year old can make up their own bed, but they have to be taught and it takes time to do that. We mentioned this earlier, teaching them how to cook a meal is a far more expression of love than cooking the meal for them because you’re preparing them for life. Our granddaughter could cook a full meal when she was 14 years old. Her father who’s the cook in the house, taught her how to cook a meal and she loves it. She makes her own birthday cakes, you know, she just loves it. But she had that interest in that and she wanted to learn that. So I’ve sometimes said to parents uh thinking think along these lines, what would you like your child to be able to do by the time they’re 18 years old. Why don’t you make a list and let the, let the teenagers, let them help you make a list. What would they like to know how to do by the time they’re 18 years old And let that be a guideline in terms of how you can speak the language, acts of service and this is good whether this is their primary language or not because at 18 they’re going in our culture, they’re going off to university, gonna join the military. We’re gonna get a job. We hope you know exactly what they need to be prepared. And so this is one of the aspects of speaking this language that’s super, super helpful to every child. Yeah, I was thinking it more externally to the home. Like going and volunteering at a soup kitchen, doing things like that, which also applies there. But jean I hadn’t thought about. I mean at 10, you had the boys doing laundry. That was pretty good. I always thought one thing I did right again. You know, the parents can do everything better than the kids and it does take more time and energy teach them. But it is important. Yes. To look at the the end game. What do you want your child to be able to do as an adult? Let’s move into a little love and discipline discussion your book you wrote, Disciplining a child without Love is like trying to run a machine without oil. And that’s a great illustration. It appears to be working for a little while, but then the engine seizes, right? Describe that. Yeah, I think all of us as parents have to discipline our Children. It means we have guidelines. We can call them rules. We can call them principles. We can call them guidelines and we have consequences when they break the guidelines and that’s a necessary part. God does that for us. In fact, the bible says he disciplines all of his Children. If you don’t get disciplined, you don’t belong to God. So as parents, we model God in doing that. But discipline without the child feeling love comes across as harsh. And so one of the things I say is before you administer the discipline, speak their love language, wrap it in their love language. Let’s say Words of affirmations their language. Let’s say the rule is, we don’t throw the ball inside the house. If we do, the ball goes in the trunk for two days. And if you break something, you have to pay for it out of your allowance. Okay. So the child breaks the law. Parents says, Honey, I’m so proud of you. Because seldom do you break the rules. But you know, you broke this one and you know what has to happen, Right their heads down and they’re nodding yes. Okay. So let’s go to the car and put it in the trunk and I don’t know how much the base cost, but we’ll have to take it out of your allowance. But but listen, I’m so proud of you because you seldom do this. That child walks away feeling this is fair because they already knew what the punishment is going to be when you have a rule, Always tell them what’s gonna happen. If they break the rule beforehand, they already know that and they feel this is fair. But if you simply go in there and say, I told you not to do that, you know better than that. You know now, you know what’s gonna have to happen now. That’s how it walks away feeling. Like, you know, I try hard, I mess up on one thing and I get blasted. Yeah, I’m worthless. Yeah. So we can’t allow our emotional state at the time to control our behavior. And if we wrap it in love, the child feels like it’s fair. They accepted in the way, in the way you you wanted to be. I I can even feel it physically when you said it, it felt so relaxing. And then when you gave the other example, I tensed up. I mean, it’s just human nature, right? I was like, uh Gary. I remember a time I disciplined Trent and uh he went to his room and I went up afterward and I was going to affirm him, I’m doing good so far right? And uh, but he wouldn’t speak to me. He was probably 87 or eight. And I said, um, are you upset? And he shook his head, yes. You know, with one nod bang. And then I said, can you talk with me? And he went, no. And shook his head that way. And I said, can you write what you’re feeling? And he shook his head, yes. So I went and got a pen and paper. And I gave it to him and I said, how do you feel when I discipline you? And I remember he wrote it feels like you don’t love me. So what was he expressing to me? I think he was expressing his emotional response at the moment and I think I think what you did was great. I would not I would not have thought about the pencil paper thing, but I like that because it gave him he could not talk at that moment about it. He was too he was too upset to do that. But yes, he could write out what he’s feeling and I think what we have to be thinking of in terms of parents when we’re discipline is how does this come across to my child? Does it come across as this is I’m doing this because I love you because all disciplines should be flowing out of our love. We’re letting them learn a tremendous principle in life. Then when we break the rules, there’s consequences to breaking the rules. So we’re teaching them something really, really important. But how does how does the way I’m delivering the discipline come across to them and if it comes across in a negative way that they feel like they don’t they don’t feel up by you Gene, I think with Troy it was hugs right, we disciplined Troy and then the three times we had to discipline him because he I mean he just was never outside the boundaries typically right? He was he was one of those Children that you just give that kind of look to that, that disappointed look. And that was enough. But I will say with our oldest son it was more challenging. And you know, honestly for a lot of us parents we are not calm when they have done whatever it is. For the umpteenth time you’re frustrated, you’re really frustrated. You’re not feeling unconditional love and dr chapman. That’s why I love that. You talk about this. It is it’s just so important for us as parents, we’ve got to find that way to calm ourselves down before we discipline the child and whether it’s taking three deep breaths um or taking I I learned of a mommy time out. I love that one, love that can’t do that if you have a three year old that needs to be watched. But that’s really the crux of it is that we can calm down And as you talked about, keep in mind what why are we wanting to discipline them? What is the point of? Well, let me, let me frame it a little bit like this for the moms and dads listening where you have that stronger willed child, You have, you know, they require more attention. How do you reset constantly? You know, how do you get a hold of your own emotions. So you’re not losing it. I think we have to say to ourselves, I don’t want to ever discipline my child out of anger because if I do it will come across as I don’t like you. I don’t love you. You’re an awful person. And so it’s a time out thing. I think we we whether we calm down a bit and if it’s three minutes or if it’s 30 minutes we wait until we calm down a little bit so that we can approach it in a much more loving way because we want the discipline to come across as love. I do this because I love you. Yeah, that’s good jim. You’re making me think of one of my bigger regrets as a parent was what I called taking the bait with that child. I just took it like a challenge. And that’s exactly what that child wanted. And I so I’ve so learned to just not. Okay. But what’s that transaction about? Gary? We’re all laughing because it’s rooted in truth. This is what happens there pushing our buttons and we’re going for the bait. So what is that transactional about between parent and child? Well, I think we have to recognize what’s happening. First of all, you know that they’re trying to get us upset because they want to, you know, sinners and then I think we just have to recognize, okay, this is a pattern. I’m beginning to see this now. Okay, God, I need your help to break the pattern. You know, because we can break patterns. Yeah, but it’s tough. I remember, say to me sometimes remember who the adult is. I But it’s true man. We just take it hook line and sinker. Gary as we close. I want to encourage the listener or the viewer who’s never thought about their child’s love language just hasn’t been on the radar. They haven’t heard about it now, that sounds a little odd after 14 million copies sold. But there will be some people that aren’t familiar with the concept and now their child maybe is a little older. They’re in that teen phase and they haven’t been effective at first identifying their love language and second putting it into action so that if they are correcting them how to affirm them through those words of affirmation, physical touch, what have you, what can they do today? Practically to get get the ship righted a little bit. Yeah. I think one thing is to have a conversation with that teenager and just say, you know, I was listening to a radio program and I heard this or I read a book and I heard this concept that people have different love languages. And I never thought about this before. And I have a love language and daddy has a love language and you have a love language. And I’ve never thought about this before. And I found out there was a free quiz and I went online and took that quiz. Dad and I did. And I found out that what makes dad love is not what I thought. He’s got a different love language. I thought this made him feel love, but no, this is it, and and he had mine wrong. And so there’s one for teenagers. Would you be willing to take that quiz? And and so we can talk about that, because I don’t know how much you feel up on a scale of 0 to 10, I think I love you at 10, but I don’t know if you feel it that way, you know? And and so that opens up the whole concept to them, and and then we can really talk about it as a family and look back on the past. I think you touched on this, but I want to hit this once again, that idea of demonstrating humility to your Children by asking for forgiveness. I remember the first time I did that, and the boys Trent was probably five or six, and remember he was in the top bunk bed, and so he had me eyeball to eyeball, and we had had a little confrontation and discipline, and he’s in bed and I go up to affirm him after reading dr chapman’s book. I remember looking at him in the eyes and I just said, you know, I’m so sorry, I think I over which I had I over reacted, and I just I’d like to ask you to forgive me. And all of a sudden he had this big smile on his face and I’m thinking, okay, what’s coming? And he goes, I didn’t know parents had to ask for forgiveness is amazing. And I said, are you kidding? We’re gonna make so many mistakes, Trent. And it was just awesome. And I think that was a moment that he will remember forever. And that’s a good place to start as well with humility. One another. Great conversation with Dr. Gary Chapman and we also featured gene daily today on focus on the family, which I know has been helpful to so many moms and dads, John as we said, this was one of our best programs of 2022 and we heard from many moms and dads who said it was meaningful and enjoyable content. I think it’d be great to get you a copy of Gary’s book. And again, it’s called the Five Love Languages of Children. If you can make a gift to focus on the family of any amount, we’ll send it to you as our way of saying thank you donate and request that great book. The Five Love Languages of Children. Our number is 800 the letter A and the word family or we’ve got details in the show notes, including a link to a quiz that you can take to find out your own love Language as Gary was describing on behalf of jim daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for focus on the family. I’m john fuller, inviting you back as we once more help you and your family thrive in christ.

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