Dr. Gary Chapman is the author of more than twenty books, including the best-selling Five Love Languages Series. He is also the senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he has served for 36 years. He has traveled the world hosting marriage seminars and has appeared on radio and television numerous times.
Dr. Chapman, after conducting over thirty years of marriage counseling, has concluded that there are basically five different ways that people show and understand emotional love.
What Are the Five Love Languages?:
The five love languages are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. According to Dr. Chapman, we all feel love and give love to others through these five different ways, but we all have a primary love language in which we best feel loved.
Love Languages and Children:
Dr. Chapman relates in his book that each child develops their own emotional patterns. While some grow feeling loved, other children grow up with feelings worthlessness. This, unfortunately, describes many of the children we serve in the foster care system.
Dr. Chapman states that children will grow up and develop their own sense of love language based on how their parents expressed love to them. If a child does not feel loved, they will still develop a love language, but it may be distorted. These are the children who will have to work harder in order to feel and communicate love.
The "Love Tank":
Dr. Chapman shares a metaphor, “Inside every child is an ‘emotional tank’ waiting to be filled with love. When a child really feels loved, he will develop normally but when the love tank is empty, the child will misbehave. Much of the misbehavior of children is motivated by the cravings of an empty ‘love tank.’”
It is up to us as parents and care givers to learn how each child in our care feels love best.
Finding Your Love Language:
There is also a test that was formatted specifically for children that I located online by a Christian group, Growing Families International.