Somehow, despite all those classes I took, I managed to miss reading any of Gary Chapman's Love Languages series in college. According to my classmates, this was sort of miraculous because the books were everywhere. I actually remember many cases where someone would mention "love tanks" or ask someone what there language was and blankly stare until I made the connection. However, the book didn't necessarily fit into my focus and I let it be.
Fast forward a few years and my family now includes a husband and two little boys. as well as the dawning realization that, even factoring in the gender difference, there seems to be honest differences in how we expressed and received love. It was definitely time to jump into Chapman's series.
First off, I loved how Chapman laid out his book. Utilizing the expertise of Ross Campbell, Chapman has laid out his book in easy to read, self contained chapters that each bear a quick summary for easy referencing later on. Seeing as this book is geared towards those with children, the ability to read a chapter, put it down after a nap and come back later without interrupting a train of thought made for a much smoother read.
The material itself was similarly easy to read. Pulling on both authors strengths the text clearly leads readers through each language, the process of determining one's language, and even branching out into areas such as marriage or single parent households. I loved how holistic this was looking at the entire family and not just the portion (in this case the kids).
This holistic approach really allowed Chapman to look at his material from all angles./I appreciated his cautions about changing languages as children went through different ages as well as cautions for how to approach discipline without fulfilling a child's need for love. While I think it's infinitely harder in practice, he raises some interesting food for thought.
Overall, I appreciated Chapman and Campbell's work especially as a mom to two young children but can still see the benefit for any who regularly interact with children of any age.
4.5 out of 5 stars
I received this book from Moody Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion. The views expressed are solely my own.
Gary Chapman identifies 5 ways children experience love. He suggests that each child has one or two primary ways of feeling loved. The book can therefore help people maximize their emotional impact with children by employing those primary areas during interactions with the children in their lives. The redundant nature of the description of the 5 "languages" and excessive story telling force me to give this book 4 stars. Otherwise the information and examples are helpful to those willing to make the effort to improve their relationships with children.
In his previous book "The Five Love Languages," best-selling author Gary Chapman contends that there are five major methods of love-giving ("love languages"), and each person responds differently to each type. Each person also "speaks" a primary love language, and responds strongly to one of the types of love-giving. Chapman identifies these love languages as: physical touch, gifts, quality time, acts of service, and words of affirmation. In order to best make someone feel loved, you must "speak" their primary love language to them. In this book, Chapman is teamed up with best-selling author Ross Campbell, who has written some very successful books on relationships with children. The premise of this book is that the love languages are not only applicable to the adults in your life, but to your children as well, and can in fact have a major effect on their behavior and happiness. The book begins with a general discussion of love languages, some stories illustrating the dramatic difference that utilizing the knowledge of love languages has made in some parents' relationships with their children, and an overview of the book. Chapman and Campbell then discuss each love language in a chapter of its own, complete with real-life examples of each love language in the lives of parents and children. The book then launches into a discussion of discipline (do NOT use a form of discipline related to your child's love language, warn the authors), as well as a brief discussion of the effect that the love language theory can have on your adult relationships (for a more in-depth discussion, see Chapman's "The Five Love Languages"). There is also quite a long discussion of "passive agressiveness" which I thought to be a bit overkill, but I'm sure is very important in the treatment of the topic (I have a feeling that this is co-author Ross Campbell's pet subject). The information in this book is very powerful and has the potential to radically alter your relationships with your children, as well as anyone else in your life. The testamonials are very convincing, and the fact that this book, as well as others in the "Love Languages" series have enjoyed such wild success is a testimony to their effectiveness. My only complaint really was that some of the writing occasionally tended toward the cheesy side, and that often I was aware of the differences in the voices of the two authors. These are unimportant complaints, however, and do not deter me from recommending the book highly! This book would be useful reading for any parent, no matter the quality of relationships within the family, as well as anyone else who is dealing with children on a regular basis (teachers, grandparents, babysitters, etc.).
Overall good book. Repetitive style somewhat difficult to get through in spots. The "love language" concepts and how to apply them make sense and plenty of examples are given; unfortunately, the examples don't always translate well from one "language" to another. I also didn't like the "Anger and Love" chapter: the "Anger Ladder" was as clear as mud and seemed to be simply a pitch for the co-author's book.