Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Effective Loving


There are many different ways to express love for others. In addition, children respond differently to various types of expressions of love. Some of the most common languages of love are as follows:

  • Verbal Affirmation
  • Physical Touch
  • Acts of Service
  • Quality Time
  • Gift Giving
It is important to find the ways in which you express your love as well as the ways that your child responds to the various languages of love.

As we express our love we must remember to do so in all circumstances. It is also important to remember that some kinds of regulation are better than others. The following is a list of some of the less than ideal forms of regulation:
  • Coercion: Use power to control children
  • Love Withdrawal: Show disapproval and suggest that the relationship is suspended until behavior is amended or changed
A good kind of regulation is as follows:
  • Induction: Efforts to encourage voluntary compliance from children. Some examples are reasoning, explaining consequences, etc.
As we try to build a relationship with our children and teach them we must remember to always make sure that they understand that we love them and care for them. We also need to be willing to allow our children to use their own agency.

What do you all think about these ideas? How do you show your children that you love them? What have you found that works in your families?

Ideas come from Strengthening our Families: An in-depth look at the Proclamation on the Family (Dollahite, 2000) and Helping and Healing our Families (Hart, 2000)

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