Extended Family Members Can Use the 5 Love Languages to Encourage Caregiving Parents
Extended family members can use the 5 love languages to encourage caregiving parents. Sharing Love Abundantly in Special Needs Families: The 5 Love Languages® for Parents Raising Children with Disabilities walks grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and churches through the process.
The first order of business is to determine the love languages of the members of a family you love. Paper and pencil quizzes for adults, teens, and children are located at the end of Chapter 1 of Sharing Love Abundantly. Online versions are available at www.5lovelanguages.com. With that information in hand, all you need is creativity and intentionality to begin speaking each of the 5 love languages to caregiving parents and their kids.
If your creative juices could use a jump start, check out Chapter 8 of Sharing Love Abundantly. It offers practical strategies about how extended family members can use the 5 love languages to encourage caregiving parents. Here are a few examples:
- Words of Affirmation: Send a congratulatory note to a family after the birth of a child with a birth anomaly or medical condition.
- Quality Time: Spend a morning or afternoon a week with a caregiving family learning to care for their loved one with special needs. Then arrange to come every few weeks to be with the loved one while the caregivers get away for a few hours.
- Gifts: Mail gas cards or grocery cards (anonymously if you wish) to ease the financial burdens many caregiving families deal with every day.
- Acts of Service: Make a double batch of your favorite casserole and drop off one pan to a caregiving family you know. (Hint: Do some sleuthing beforehand regarding any dietary restrictions or food allergies so the whole family can enjoy the meal.)
- Physical Touch: Provide tactile experiences for the entire family. For example, horseback rides for the family or free childcare while parents go dancing.
For more ideas about how extended family members can use the 5 love languages to encourage caregiving families, check out Sharing Love Abundantly. Every suggestion in the book was provided by parents raising kids with special needs and disabilities. Be assured they will encourage the caregiving family you love in practical and profound ways.
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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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