Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Parent's Top Ten List - #9 - Share Your Love Language

Happy New Year! The 2011 Parent’s Top Ten List, available here to print and post on your fridge, provides high level concepts and suggestions for building family unity. Because this list is succinct – no explanations of the concepts – you may be curious about the “why” behind some of the suggestions. We began last month with #10, and in the next few posts, we will be bouncing back through the list, explaining each of the concepts. Today’s is #9 – Determine and share with one another the Love Language of everyone in your family.

In Steven Covey’s book The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, he introduces the concept of “Emotional Bank Accounts.” Covey explains, “An Emotional Bank Account is a metaphor that describes the amount of trust that’s been built up in a relationship. It is the feeling of safeness that you have with another human being.”

Just like a financial bank account, you can make deposits and withdrawals from an Emotional Bank Account. Covey says, “If I make deposits into an Emotional Bank Account with you through courtesy, kindness, honesty and keeping my commitments to you, I build up a reserve. Your trust toward me becomes higher, and I can call on that trust many times if I need to.”

One way to add high-powered deposits to your bank account with your family members is to speak their love language. Sometimes we may be saying “I love you” to a family member in our own primary love language rather than theirs. This is indeed a deposit to your Emotional Bank Account AND speaking your family member’s own primary love language is like making a contribution to your favorite PBS station during their fundraising drive when they have matching funds – it doubles or triples your deposit.

In The Five Love Languages of Children, authors Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell talk about the ways to discover and speak your child’s primary love language –gifts, physical touch, time, words of affirmation, or acts of service. By knowing the primary love language of everyone in your family, you can increase the trust in your relationships.

Begin to notice how your child expresses love to you and what he asks for the most from others. Does he hug you, sit in your lap or want you to scratch his back [physical touch]? Does he ask you to spend time doing something with him [time] or is he more thrilled if you fix his bike tire [acts of service]? Does she feel loved when you bring her a gift from your business trip [gifts] or more so when she receives a post card while you are away that tells her that you love and miss her[words of affirmation]? Does he complain that you don’t spend enough time with him [time]or that you never tell him you love him [words of affirmation]? These are your clues.

Discover your primary love language and share it with your children and spouse. Then spend time in a family meeting discovering and sharing everyone’s love language. Your bank accounts will be over-flowing!

Related Posts:
Speak the Most Powerful Love Language
To listen to this as a podcast, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment