One of the greatest pleasures of reading to children is reassuring them that we love them by speaking the words of love out loud.
According to Dr. Gary Chapman, counselor and author of the series of books "The Five Love Languages" for all members of the family, we can never say the words enough. He writes about all the ways we can say the words so others will understand and be reassured they are loved.
Each child is a distinct individual with a distinct personality and individual "love languages." One or more might be more powerful than the others. The key, according to Chapman, is finding out the love language that works best for each of our loved ones and then communicating our love in their language.
Dr. Gary Chapman's five love languages are affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch.
If a child thrives on words of affirmation here are a few ideas from Dr. Chapman. Post encouraging words, praise, or other kind words on your children's door, in their mittens, or lunch. Compliment your children in front of others.
Catch your children doing well or something good and thank them. "Thank you for doing your chores today without be reminded."
Look for strengths and notice their strengths. Cut up an uplifting note into pieces so your older children can put the words together. Text words of affirmation to your teens, twenties, and older children often. Let them know when choices are intelligent, kind, and thoughtful, rather than only speaking out when there is a need to correct. Say "I love you" often.
When families read out loud to children starting with babies, we share all five of the love languages. Here are some beautiful books that help us speak the language of love.
"Take Heart, My Children: A Mother's Dream" by Ainsley Earhardt; " That's Me Loving You" by Amy Rosenthal; "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch; "I Love you, Stinky Face" by Lisa McCourt; "Guess How Much I Love You" by Sam McBratney; "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams; "Juggle Puppy" by Sandra Boynton; "The Wonderful Things You Will Be" by Emily Martin; "Molly Spreads Love Wherever She Goes" by Suzanne Marshall; "Mama, Do You Love Me? "by Barbara M. Joosse; "What Do You Love About You?" by Karen Lechelt; 'I'm Wild About You" by Sandra Magsamen; "You Belong to Me" by Mamoru Suzuki;"This is Our Baby, Born Today" by Nancy Paulsen; "Sometimes We Think You Are a Monkey" by Johanna Skibsrud; "Everyone Says Goodnight" by Hiroyuki Arai; "At Night" Helga Bansch.
Esther Macalady is a former teacher who lives in Golden and participates in the Grandparents Teach Too writing group. For more learning tips see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com the wnmufm.org/ podcasts and the website grandparentsteachtoo.org.