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Tips & tricks for parents to make the most out of every moment.

I’ve been waiting patiently to write about this love language, well, maybe not so patiently…. In Gary Chapman’s and Ross Campbell’s The 5 Love Languages of Children, I think the authors beautifully articulate the purpose of acts of service. The authors write, “The ultimate purpose of acts of service to children is to help them emerge as mature adults who are able to give love to others through acts of service. This includes not only being helpful to cherished loved ones but also serving persons who are in no way able to return or repay the kindness.” 

 

Sometimes, the acts parents do for their children daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly, seem to go unnoticed. When parents feel like their efforts of genuine love expressed through their acts of service go unappreciated, attitudes can teeter towards going into the  resentful camp. Chapman and Campbell warn their readers about keeping attitudes in check because when we become less than positive, children will feel these acts are not an expression of love. The authors tell us, when parents care for their children with a spirit of resentment and bitterness, a child’s physical needs may be met, but their emotional development can be greatly hampered.

 

 

I struggle with the word discipline when using it in connection with children. I believe using the words redirecting and teaching are more descriptive of what children need from loving and nurturing parents to better understand the world around them. What do you think?  In, The 5 Love Languages of Children, Dr. Chapman and Ross Campbell, write, “Discipline (redirection) involves the long and vigilant task of guiding a child from infancy to adulthood. The goal is that the child would reach a level of maturity that will allow him one day to function as a responsible adult in society. The purpose of discipline/redirection is to correct behaviors and help a child develop self-discipline/control.”

Generally, the behaviors parents are attempting to stop/change are normal emotions/wants we all have; children just go about expressing themselves in a more honest way. Remember the saying, “Out of the mouths of babes?” Most of us like to go first, don’t want to wait patiently, and would love to express our feelings in painfully honest ways, but that probably wouldn’t serve us well as an adult. Knowing these are “human” challenges, how do we help our children learn how to manage their feelings and ask for what they want appropriately?  

 

 

 

I seldom meet a parent who doesn’t know the early years are critical for children’s healthy development. As parents, we are our children’s first and most important teachers and influencers. Dr. Chapman and Ross Campbell, in their book, The 5 Love Languages of Children, reminds us, “Small children love to learn. They are born with an innate hunger for learning that remains strong. A careful observation of infants and toddlers reveals that most of the activity is not merely child’s play; rather, our little ones are working at learning a new skill. Once they learn to talk, their minds are filled with questions every day. Observe your child’s play, and you will see what makes them the happiest and what holds their attention the longest; you will likely find that it is an activity in which she is learning.”

How do we help cultivate optimum learning for children? Children learn best in a learning environment that supports healthy cognitive growth and allows them to follow their interests. A learning environment that is engaging and geared to items children find appealing is only part of igniting children’s interest, curiosity, and learning. It’s just as important to stand back and allow your children the freedom to explore and make their own discoveries without intervening. Becoming too involved in children’s play and overpraising isn’t what’s best for children’s development. 

 

 

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 At Before5, we are passionate about helping you understand how your child grows and develops – especially in the first five years, which is when the really important learning happens.

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