May 26, 2024


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Five Love Languages in Neuroscience

I know lots of people who are pretty left brained; by that I mean, they think things through thoroughly before they will use it (the knowledge) or accept it. They want to know the scientific facts, empirical studies and even though some things have been tried and tested for ages, they still maintain a “wait-and-see” attitude. Before I finished reading Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell’s “The Five Love Languages of Children” a few years ago, I was already sharing it with people around me. Some of my friends, who understand my usual enthusiasm about parenting ways, would normally hear me out and perhaps try to get a copy of the book to learn more. Others remain skeptical until there is more clout to it.

Well, something good has come out of this skepticism. It has just occurred to me that there is a scientific explanation to the Five Love Languages after all – from the neuroscience perspective. I’ve found Margot Sunderland’s “What Every Parent Needs To Know” an excellent source of scientific evidence. Sunderland, a child psychotherapist, is brilliant in her presentation of difficult jargon for the average layperson. It is, in my opinion, another book every parent should read. While she presents facts and lots of practical ways for loving parenting, “The Five Love Languages of Children” offers you additional tools.

When your child has his emotional tank filled (means he has received love through his primary love language, be it physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time or gifts), a surge of positive arousal neurochemicals, comprising mainly opiods, oxytoxin and prolactin, are activated in the brain. These hormones are powerful chemicals produced in the body and brain that give us a sense of well-being. Neuroscience researchers found that when these hormones are strongly activated in combination, these neurochemicals provide us the deepest sense of calm and contentment.

When your child has lots of loving experiences in early life, her brain is constantly filled with oxytocin and opiods which make her feel very calm, safe and warm inside. Besides allowing her the best environment to explore the world with interest and wonder, she is building up the resilience to handle pain and stressful times in life.

Scientists have found that an individual’s psychological strength is linked to opiods being strongly activated in the brain; this simply means when your child is constantly flooded with opiods, she will grow being able to think under stress and calm herself, be socially confident, warm and kind. She will respond to personal feedback by thinking about what is being said rather than lashing out with anger or leaving and look into a resolution rather than blame in a conflict.