By Georgia Smith, MA
A system of order exists for every species on the earth. The opposite of order is chaos.
The importance of family order cannot be minimized. Both the husband and wife have specific roles based on culture, moral standards, and individual talents. When husband and wife define how the family order should function, they establish a foundation for the family. It is important to take an individual assessment of each one’s strengths and weaknesses. This assessment will establish each one’s responsibility for a healthy family life.
Traditionally, the role of a husband is provider and protector. He also plays a very large role in the training and discipline of the children. Each culture is different and the influences of the culture will play a large part in exactly what each partner’s role will look like. Traditionally, a mother’s role is more of the nurturer, teacher, and disciplinarian. Her function is to maintain consistent order that has been established by her and the husband. Her interaction with the children is typically more than the husband. Therefore, a strong understanding on how to nurture, teach, train, and discipline is vital.
One of the most important aspects of training, discipline, and nurturing is consistency and unity of the mother and father. If mother and father are not in unison, their children will sense this and insecurity develops. Abundance of life exists in unity.
A solid family foundation can only be established when both mother and father demonstrate love and respect for each other. You may have been together before you had children and you will hopefully be together when you become empty nesters.
Your relationship with each other is more important than your relationship with your children.
Once ground rules for parenting are established, it is important to love each child in the way that best provides them with security, value, and the feeling of importance. A great book entitled, The 5 Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, illustrates the five ways to speak the language of love to your child:
- Physical Touch,
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Acts of Service
Here are some examples:
- Physical Touch – if your child loves to hold your hand, sit in your lap, or get hugs and kisses from you, this indicates they feel love with physical touch.
- Words of Affirmation – you will most likely easily recognize this love language if your child enjoys hearing your compliments on their drawings, projects, or most anything they accomplish. They feel most loved by your affirming words.
- Quality Time – if your child prefers to play with you, follow you around, or play with other children, this indicates that spending quality time with them makes them feel most loved. They prefer interaction rather than playing alone.
- Gifts – this category can be a bit tricky…what child does not enjoy toys or presents? None that I know of! For some children, giving them gifts is their primary love language. You will know this as your child’s primary love language if they enjoy drawing pictures to give you, making small art projects for you, writing you cards, or wanting to buy you something when they have the chance.
- Acts of Service – this love language is expressed if your child loves for you to help make their bed, clean their room, help with homework, cook their favorite meal, or proof read a paper they have written for school.
Your child most likely has one primary and a secondary love language. Pay attention to the ways they show you love. How they show love to you is most likely the way they enjoy being shown love.
A happy, healthy home begins with love and respect between husband and wife. Both consistency and agreement of parenting style will provide a secure and loving foundation for your children. Knowing your child’s love language and responding accordingly will augment an atmosphere of love, acceptance, and value.
Georgia Smith is in private practice as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas providing counseling for children, adolescents, adults, and marriage and family. She is also an author of two books and a public speaker. Georgia may be reached at 469-855-0256 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. www.counselingbygeorgia.com