In our quarterly magazine Grow Together, we have been encouraging parents to find ways to connect with their children, and together as a family. One of our deepest longings is to belong, and when we connect with others we gain a sense that we belong together. May these simple ideas and thoughts inspire you to connect in more purposeful ways with those around you.
Have you ever heard your child say ‘I don’t feel loved?’ It can, and should, stir us up a little as parents to be responsive to what that means for that child. Sometimes this is just a mismatch between the way they receive love and the way they are being loved. How can we know?
Knowing a person's love language allows you to connect better with a person and to know what he/she responds to best.
The 5 Love Languages books by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell show practical and very effective ways to help people figure out how to best connect with each other. These books are worth a deep dive – especially the edition for kids. In this edition we’re just going to share a short snippet and some ideas to start you thinking.
One of the love languages is ‘Physical Touch’. For example, your child loves to receive hugs and kisses, enjoys being carried and is probably a ‘cuddler’. They enjoy physical activity; racing, wrestling, tag, and climb into your lap for snuggles. Parents can emphasize their love and show physical affection when they; hold hands and hug often, have family cuddles, tickle and wrestle, let their child sit on parent’s lap for reading, and play active games often.
All children, and particularly young children, will show love and need to receive love in every form. They are small, often unnoticeable gestures, but can be so meaningful when it is a child's special love language. Figuring out what each child responds to best can help parents identify when love tanks are running low and work on building that connection again.
Find out more at www.5lovelanguages.com
In Deuteronomy 6 God encourages us to ‘teach our children diligently, talk when you sit in your house, when you walk, when you lie down and when you rise’ (paraphrased). Sometimes parents can feel overwhelmed or ill-equipped to share their faith. God is reminding us in these verses that we aren’t to feel this way, we can simply remember God in the very ordinary times and moments of our daily lives and share these with each other. He has given us the Holy Spirit to help us too.
Meal times are a very precious time to simply give thanks and praise before eating. This is a great ritual that can be passed through the generations. Meal times also afford the time to share how life is going. Simply ask what a high and low was for each person for the day.