Using the 5 Love Languages to Help Traumatized Kids
Using the 5 love languages to help traumatized kids makes perfect sense to me. Not just because I’ve written extensively about childhood trauma and how to adapt the 5 love languages in special needs families. But because I’m the parent of a son affected by trauma and a former educator who witnessed the positive impact loving adults can make in a child’s life.
The love languages are a simple tool that parents, teachers, day care providers, pastors, medical professionals, therapists, and other adults in children’s lives can use to amplify that impact. This is true whether a child’s trauma is caused by abuse, removal to foster care, divorce, natural disasters, accidents, the death of a loved one, painful and invasive medical or dental procedures, homelessness, or other overwhelming events. Here’s why I believe using the 5 love languages to help traumatized kids is worthwhile.
The love languages help children feel safe. Traumatic events decrease a child’s feeling of security and safety. After the traumatic event, they need assurance that they are loved and safe. When those assurances are delivered in the child’s primary love language, the child will be more receptive to them. The love languages enhance communication. Children affected by trauma require frequent reminders that they are safe over a long period of time. The more trauma they’ve experienced, the more reminders they need. By speaking a child’s love language to deliver that reassurance in a variety of creative ways, they are more likely to hear and accept it.
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Jolene Philo is the author of the Different Dream series for parents of kids with special needs. She speaks at parenting and special needs conferences around the country. She’s also the creator and host of the Different Dream website. Sharing Love Abundantly With Special Needs Families: The 5 Love Languages® for Parents Raising Children with Disabilities, which she co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman, was released in August of 2019 and is available at local bookstores, their bookstore website, and at Amazon.
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