Category: Children

An Emotionally Healthy Child

One of the most important goals in parenting is to make sure that our children grow up feeling loved.

If your children are secure in your love they will be far more responsive to your teaching and training.  Fundamentally, there are five ways to express love to children. I call them the five love languages. They are: words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, quality time, and physical touch.

Each child has a primary love language. One of these speaks more deeply than the other four. Ideally, as parents we want to give the child heavy doses of their primary love language and then sprinkle in the other four. We want them to learn how to give and receive love in all five languages. This produces an emotionally healthy child.

Q&A: How do I handle my child’s unruly behavior?

Question: I love my 8 year old son, but his behavior sometimes drives me to insanity. Any suggestions?

Answer: Well, as a parent, I can identify with the frustration. I do have one suggestion: make sure your son feels loved.  I know that you love him. That is not the question. The question is does your son feel loved? Sincerity is not enough. The deepest emotional need a child has is to feel loved by the parents. When that need is unmet, children often experience anger which shows up in their behavior.

Dr. Ross Campbell and I wrote a book that has just been updated and released called The Five Love Languages of Children. It shares information on how to identify a child’s primary love language and how speaking this language interfaces with the child’s anger, learning , and with discipline. Many parents have shared that when they started speaking their child’s love language they saw a dramatic change in the child’s behavior.

Q&A: How do I handle my child's unruly behavior?

Question: I love my 8 year old son, but his behavior sometimes drives me to insanity. Any suggestions?

Answer: Well, as a parent, I can identify with the frustration. I do have one suggestion: make sure your son feels loved.  I know that you love him. That is not the question. The question is does your son feel loved? Sincerity is not enough. The deepest emotional need a child has is to feel loved by the parents. When that need is unmet, children often experience anger which shows up in their behavior.

Dr. Ross Campbell and I wrote a book that has just been updated and released called The Five Love Languages of Children. It shares information on how to identify a child’s primary love language and how speaking this language interfaces with the child’s anger, learning , and with discipline. Many parents have shared that when they started speaking their child’s love language they saw a dramatic change in the child’s behavior.

Your Child’s Love Tank

If you treat all children the same way in an effort to be fair, you are really not being fair at all.

What I discovered years ago is that what makes one child feel loved, does not necessarily make another child feel loved. I like to picture each child as having an emotional ‘love tank’. If the tank is full, that is the child feels loved by the parents, then the child grows up normally. If the tank is empty, the child will grow up with many internal struggles. And in the teenage years they will go looking for love, typically in all the wrong places. Learning what fills your child’s love tank is one of the secrets to successful parenting.

For more, see my new book: The 5 Love Languages of Children

Your Child's Love Tank

If you treat all children the same way in an effort to be fair, you are really not being fair at all.

What I discovered years ago is that what makes one child feel loved, does not necessarily make another child feel loved. I like to picture each child as having an emotional ‘love tank’. If the tank is full, that is the child feels loved by the parents, then the child grows up normally. If the tank is empty, the child will grow up with many internal struggles. And in the teenage years they will go looking for love, typically in all the wrong places. Learning what fills your child’s love tank is one of the secrets to successful parenting.

For more, see my new book: The 5 Love Languages of Children

Q&A: Are married couples obligated to have children?

Question: Does the Bible teach that married couples are obligated to have children?

Answer: God did say to Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” In the Bible, children are viewed as a gift from God. However, I don’t think this means that every Christian couple is obligated to have children. I do think it is the norm for most couples.

If a couple decides not to have children, their reason for such a choice should be clearly understood. And it should not be rooted in selfishness. Some good reasons for not having children might include: physical or mental disabilities, poor relational skills, or ministry for Christ. Selfish reasons might be: the desire to travel, not willing to accept responsibility, wanting to be free to follow personal interests. Make sure your choice is based on a genuine desire to follow God’s plan for your life.

Q&A: Are married couples obligated to have children?

Question: Does the Bible teach that married couples are obligated to have children?

Answer: God did say to Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” In the Bible, children are viewed as a gift from God. However, I don’t think this means that every Christian couple is obligated to have children. I do think it is the norm for most couples.

If a couple decides not to have children, their reason for such a choice should be clearly understood. And it should not be rooted in selfishness. Some good reasons for not having children might include: physical or mental disabilities, poor relational skills, or ministry for Christ. Selfish reasons might be: the desire to travel, not willing to accept responsibility, wanting to be free to follow personal interests. Make sure your choice is based on a genuine desire to follow God’s plan for your life.

Feeling Unloved

When I wrote my book, The Five Love Languages of Teenagers, I was surprised to learn how many teens feel unloved by their parents. It’s not that the parents don’t love them. The problem is that the teen does not feel loved. When teenagers feel unloved, they are far more likely to become sexually active, start using drugs and get involved in trouble with the law.

The answer? Learn to speak the love language of your teenager. What are the five love languages? Words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, quality time and physical touch. Out of these five, your teen has a primary love language. If you speak it your teen will feel loved, if you don’t the love tank will be empty. Much of the teens miss-behavior comes from an empty love tank.

 

Learn to Talk Softly

The most significant influence on the life of a teenager comes from parents. It may surprise you, but it’s true. Oh, teens are influenced by their peers but they are far more influenced by their parents.  That is why we must be certain that we are having a positive influence. One teen said, “My father yells and screams at me; telling me to stop yelling and screaming at him.” Do you understand what the teen is saying? The father’s model is far more important than the father’s words.

If you want teens to stop yelling and screaming, then stop yelling and screaming at them. The Scriptures say, “A soft answer turns away wrath.” Learn to talk softly with your teen and your teen will learn to speak softly to you.

 

Panic Mode

I think it is safe to say that in no generation has the task of parenting teenagers been more perplexing than at the present time. Teenage violence is no longer limited to the fictional world of movies. Many of the parents I meet are in the panic mode. Especially if their own teen is sexually active or using drugs. So what’s a parent to do?

It may surprise you, but I think you should start by apologizing to your teenager for your own failures. None of us are perfect. We have all failed to be kind, loving and encouraging to our teens from time to time. When you apologize, you open the door to the possibility of building a better relationship with your teen. It’s the place to start.

 

 

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