(2 / 5) – It’s Okay
An important caveat: I do not read parenting books. In eight years of parenting and having probably read 500+ books in that time, I have read two. This is the second. I offer this as a warning that my review cannot be well informed in regards to the genre, only to my personal tastes and ideologies.
As a pastor I am often given the opportunity to offer premarital counseling and I have been using Gary Chapman’s “The 5 Love Languages” for years. His framework is easily understandable and offers rich ground for conversation and understanding between couples. I was first introduced to “The 5 Love Languages” when my partner and I entered marriage counseling and it has proven a useful framework in the years since. It was actually a conversation between us, in regards to our children (twin boys) that prompted me to pick up this book.
Our boys are eight and they are differentiating themselves and as parents we were discussing how and when to treat them the same and when and how to treat them differently because of their unique and particular behavior and needs. I hoped this book would provide additional insight and language for us as parents to discuss this framework of being in relationship with our children. I was disappointed. It was mostly the same content as the original and Chapman and Campbell took 210 pages to solidify their thesis which can be summed up as, “be sure to offer all the love languages to your children and pay attention as they grow and when you identify their primary language, be intentional about offering that demonstration of love too.”
For a reader unfamiliar with the 5 Love Languages this book would of course be much more informative. The book offered solid and thorough definitions of the languages and provided examples for each across ages which was helpful in relating these languages to my own children. I had hoped for more meat on the bones of these languages in the parent/child relationship. So, the book as a whole is okay. I do appreciate the insight this framework offers and the language it provides, the book itself simply did not offer me enough that was new as a parent. I would still recommend it if you aren’t familiar with the love languages as Chapman defines them.