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on August 20, 2010
I've discovered another great resource on parenting teens!

As I read about each of the five love languages, I didn't feel that I knew my kiddos very well. I saw bits and pieces of my kiddos in each of the languages described. As I continued reading, the author gave instruction on how to discover a child's main love language. I think my son leans most toward "Physical Touch" and my daughter more toward "Gifts", although I see a hint of "Words of Affirmation", "Quality Time" and "Acts of Service" with each of them. I'm definitely going to pay more attention to discover how I can more effectively parent these two blessings God has given me.

This book also covers other parenting topics:

Anger - It's a problem in our house, that I've unfortunately passed down to one of my children. I look forward to implementing the guidelines for "breaking destructive patterns" and "forging constructive paths" with my family.

Failure - Every child fails, just as every adult fails, at some point in their lives. Parents need to know how to love their child even when he or she fails.

Single Parents and Blended Families - I am fortunate to be married to my children's father. I know many children are in single parent homes or blended families and there are more challenges to be faced.

I recommend this book to anyone with teenagers or pre-teens. Be ready before they turn into a teen. It comes quickly and before you're ready!

Thank to Moody Publishers for sending me a review copy in exchange for my honest review.

You may visit [...] to read my review in full.
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on October 5, 2010
The book is a fast read, and truly translates a lot of mysterious teen behavior. The languages are easy to remember, so it's useful info long after completing the book. That understanding, combined with identifying the love language of any teen you interact with consistently, can really make a difference in how that teen experiences these already tough years. Even with a slight smirk and acting annoyed while I interviewed him on the love language quiz, I know he was secretly honored to be asked, and he was very curious to find out his "love languages." I have applied them since, and we refer to the languages about both himself and others, which is a nice connection now. I will say, "Since Gifts is a more important language to you than me, I got you this." It boosts his appreciation, because I not only did it, but I have made the effort to understand him.
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on December 4, 2013
Note: This review, as well as many more, can also be found on my blog, The Baking Bookworm (www.thebakingbookworm.blogspot.ca).

My Review: As you can see from my reading history on GoodReads or on my blog I'm not a big non-fiction reader so it should come as no shock that I didn't happen upon this book by myself. I learned of it from a friend of mine who had read another book in the series and she had quite positive reviews of it. I had never heard of or read any of Chapman's previous "Love Languages" books but the premise intrigued me.

As many of you know I have one teen and two tweens at home. Let's just say that the household hormones runneth over. Over the past couple of years as Boy 1 entered teendom I've noticed differences in how we interact with each other and they're not always as positive as I would like. So I was eager to see if this book could give me a clearer view of what being a teen in 2013 is like for my son.

Overall, I enjoyed this light read, learned a little and was reminded about a lot of parenting tools that I already had in my parenting arsenal. It reminded me of what it's like to be a teen -- how they feel, think etc and helped me to put some of my feelings/reactions into perspective (like not to feel hurt or put out when my teen wants/needs time to himself and doesn't necessarily want to hang with dear old mom). Deep down I knew that but a little reminder was needed.

The notion of Chapman's five love languages is an interesting concept. As I read the book I started to look at my kids differently. Each of my kids have different 'love languages' so I tried, over the past few weeks, to figure out how to reach each them with their unique love languages. Boy 1 is not one for hugs (never has been). To reach him I had to stop using so much Physical Love (one of my main love languages) -- hugs, hair ruffling, kisses on the cheek -- and start using Words of Affirmation to get through to him. He responded to me better and you know what? He's actually become more OK with my occasional hugs. Who knew, right?

Now Boy 2 is a different ball of wax all together. Boy 2 truly speaks the love language of Physical Touch with his love of snuggling, hugging 'just cuz' and how he likes to sit close to Brad and I even while just watching TV. It's always been easy for Boy 2 and I to show love because we kind of come from the same love language page, so to speak.

Missy Moo's love language is definitely Quality Time. She adores having Brad or I to herself for some one-on-one time. Three different kids, three different ways to show them that I love them. So, by not showing each of my kids love using their own love language I may not have been imparting my love clearly to them. That was an 'a-ha' moment for me. Ultimately, by focusing on what my kids need/want from me I do feel that we have had a much calmer household over the past few weeks.

Throughout the book Chapman clearly describes the mindset of teens, how they may be feeling and what they need in order to feel loved during a very emotional and stressful age. He uses a fairly strong Christian base to his teachings with several Biblical/Christian references being made throughout the book. A couple of times it almost took on a preachy vibe but overall I don't think non-Christians will mind the references.

Is this the most concise parenting book I’ve read? No. I did find the book overly long for the amount of information that was provided and feel it could have been cut down quite a bit without losing the information given. And while there is good information provided, many of the parenting techniques aren't anything new but can be used to remind parents of things that they knew all along but needed a refresher in.

One of the 'refreshers' that I needed was quite simple but made me do a mental forehead smack when I read it.

You can't parent a teen the same way you parented them when they were a child.

The rules change. The boy who did as he was told as a child is now arguing and pushing boundaries at every turn because he wants to become his own person. Pushing away from Mom and Dad is what's supposed to happen as teens learn to 'go it alone' more and more without Mom and Dad hovering over them to ensure that nothing bad happens. That said, rules and boundaries are just as important now as they were when he was younger.

Rules, consequences and boundaries must be set in advance and be clear and consistent so everyone knows what's expected and what will happen if boundaries are crossed. This involves a lot of communication and respect all around. I liked the fact that this book doesn't sugar coat things and encourages parents to allow their kids to feel the consequences of their actions. Mom and Dad don't need to ride in on a white horse to save the day if Junior's decision ends badly. The teens, after making their own decisions, have to face the consequences, good or bad, just as they will when they're adults.

I take away from this book a few new tidbits of parenting wisdom to make my parenting arsenal that much stronger. Encouraging independence is something that Brad and I have always done with our kids but as Boy 1 begins to push farther than my comfort zone is comfortable with I can look back at this book and realize that it's OK for me to let go of the reigns (just a little). Allow him to stumble, make decisions (even when I don't agree) and begin to pull away from Brad and I to become his own person. Hard to do but oh so necessary because in the end creating independent, self-sufficient, caring and compassionate adults who know they are loved is the end result of parenting.

Recommended.

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
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on March 26, 2013
My daughter and I are much closer since I have implemented some of the suggestions in this book. I think as of late her love tank must be very full. At age 15 she makes a point to tell me how much she loves and appreciates me nightly and I have come to understand her point of view and give her some of the respect she requires as a developing young adult.
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on April 10, 2013
I recommend this book to every parent that wants a better relationship with their teen. I had read The 5 Love Languages for couples first and thought if this book has improved my relationship with my husband, I have to read this one. This book is even good for granparents!
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on March 26, 2013
What an amazing, insightful book. I have not yet finished, but have already seen a marked difference in my relationship with my teenage son. Any parent who even begins to think, "Oh its the teen years, there's nothing I can do about it"... please read. I intend to constantly refer to Chapman's sugestions over the next few years.
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I bought this book many years ago and have purchased it as gifts for all sorts of people. Friends, family, acquaintances--anyone who was having issues with partners, kids, parents, etc. This book is full of tools to better understand the person you seek to better your relationship with, and perhaps also to better your own understanding of yourself.

The Five Love Languages sets up 5 different ways that people give and receive love. We all appreciate all 5 of these languages, but usually we speak loudest in one or two of them (mine are physical touch and quality time). If we can understand the languages that our partner speaks, then we can better "speak" our love to them. This is not a book for you to "listen" better, it is one to help you "speak" better. Sure, it helps you to understand your partner's language, and maybe appreciate that they are showing you love when they wash the car (acts of service), but it is more about YOU learning to perform acts of service for your partner, because that is the language that he/she speaks. It also teaches your partner to "speak" YOUR language to you. If your partner is an "acts of service" guy, but you are a "physical touch" girl, he needs to learn how to show you he loves YOU by touching you--because that's what you speak.)

There are other books that go with this (like one for Teens) that are incredibly helpful, too.
I highly recommend all of the Love Language books in the series. You can't lose!
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on April 16, 2015
I wish I had had this book 10 years ago when my daughter was entering adolescence. My son is 16 and it has really helped me understand some of his behaviors, figure out his love language and begin speaking it in his "dialect" -- AND it has taught me the importance of becoming fluent in all the love languages. Another unexpected bonus is that Dr. Chapman's discussion of abuse in each of the love languages has helped me understand my own "brokenness" in each area of love language due to the abuse I experienced as a child and teenager.
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on May 2, 2016
As an educator of 25 years plus experience, I always go back to reading and re-reading this timeless book by Dr. Chapman. What a blessing it is for the parents of teenagers and those who work with teens. The 5 love languages themselves are simple enough to "get," but putting them into practice can be a bit difficult for parents. Have no fear: there are plenty of examples and case studies in the book that will "spark" ideas or plans in the reader's mind. The last few chapters on how to deal with parental anger and different family structures are also very helpful. My only one regret: I wish someone had recommended this book to me when my kids were 9 or 10 years old. Get this book. It can be a game changer.
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on July 6, 2014
This book brought all the obvious things we can do as parents to keep and grow the relationships with our children. I can be very analytic and this book helped to bring me perspective on the little things that we do and how they can make a big impact. This book helped remind me how I need to respect my children's differences and create opportunities to maintain and nurture my relationship with them. I highly suggest for parents to read this book!
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