We have made it to the last Love Language: GIFTS
This is probably the most well known and maybe even the easiest love language, and yet, this is not the love language of anyone in my family. Why can’t I just buy their love?
As I was thinking about the love language of gifts, I began to wonder if this is my MIL’s love language? She buys everyone lots of gifts for every birthday and Christmas. And then she must wrap them in beautiful paper and big bows. Even if you picked the item out and you know exactly what you are getting, she will wrap it– right in front of you if necessary. If you don’t believe me check out her Christmas tree.
Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, the authors of The Five Love Languages of Children, state that “gifts are more than material objects. They are tangible expressions of love that speak deeply.”
But gift giving isn’t as cut and dry as it may seem. There are still some traps to be aware of.
First, a gift must be given unconditionally and without being “deserved”. If it is deserved than it is a payment or it is a bribe to manipulate behavior.
Second, the old adage, “It’s the thought that counts” is so true here. Size and cost are not important when a gift is given with love.
Third, be careful not to shower your children with too many gifts. If you give too many gifts, then they lose their specialness. The authors warn that a child can become emotionally dead to receiving gifts.
Fourth, don’t use gifts as a substitution for other love languages.
Now it can be tricky to determine if your child’s love language is gifts because what kid doesn’t like a present? But those that truly see gifts as an expression of love will make a big deal about receiving the gift. It isn’t just about what is inside the box, it is also about the presentation–the suspense–the ritual. They may ooh and ahh over the wrapping paper or the bow. And she/he may display the gift proudly in his room or show it off to guests, friends, or other family members. They usually don’t just open the gift and move on.
One idea from this chapter that I thought could apply to all children, regardless of their love language, was the idea to make every day items into gifts. For example, wrap up new school clothes or school supplies. This way children see them as expressions of love rather than what is expected.
Here are some more posts about gifts:
Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion to the Love Language Series. (I am like a reality TV show. I know how to drag this out.) I will be sharing with you how to determine your child’s love language as well as other final reminders and thoughts.