"The Five Love Languages of Children" book by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell may have been specifically written to help parents and those who deal with children, I have found that the same principles can also be applied for adults.
The “Five Love Languages of Children" book has not only helped me to parent my children more effectively, it has helped me tremendously in my relationships with adults, namely my spouse, parents, siblings and friends. Fortunately for both my husband and I, we speak the same language; i. e. quality time. My husband works 12 hours daily on four weekdays and three and half hours daily for the rest of the week. So, we spend the Wednesday afternoons by doing things together while the children are away at school. We would run errands, go shopping, have pampering body and foot massages, rejuvenate at an anti-oxidant spa, watch a movie, attend workshops on self improvement, etc.
From the book I have also learnt to speak love in other wonderful ways through physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service and gifts. The authors emphasize the importance of using all the other four languages because every individual needs all of them although he/she expresses and receives love best through the primary one. It is vital to learn your own primary love language and of your partner's to maintain a harmonious and loving relationship. Conflicts may arise when both of you do not share the same love language.
Even before I finished reading the book several years ago, I shared it with a good friend who was having some hiccups in her marriage. She used to lament that her husband was unappreciative of her efforts to cook him meals. Her husband was a frequent traveler who was used to dining at five-star hotels. My friend admitted that although her cooking paled in comparison, she would still try to whip up her husband's favourite dishes whenever he was home. Her grouse was that he would eat very little and then “checked out" to meet up with his buddies for drinks and sometimes supper elsewhere.
It was so clear to me that my friend's primary love language was “acts of service" followed very closely by “quality time". Unfortunately her husband didn't know that and, I realised, his primary love language was probably “gifts". When my friend gave birth to her first born years ago, her husband bought her a big bouquet of roses. I had commented that her husband had a wonderful way to express his love and appreciation but she said those blue roses were not natural. What was his comment? “Blue roses are unique and special, " he said when my friend asked.
When I shared the five different communication styles of love with her, my friend saw a whole new perspective and gained a better understanding of herself and her husband.
Meeyuen Thang is a former journalist and since becoming a mother, her main interests are self improvement and child development, particularly in emotional literacy. You can visit her website at http://www.parentingtalks.com