Gary Chapman 5 Love Languages. http://www.fivelovelanguages.com He wrote about 8 versions of this book- for singles, for children, for teenagers, for spouses, etc. All are great books that describe and apply the concept of love languages for each type of relationship.
Everyone speaks one of 5 love languages: gifts, words of appreciation, physical touch, acts of service, or quality time. We feel most cared about when we receive the language we “hear”. But the trick is, we often do not pick partners or have children with the same love language that we “speak”. And we usually give the love language that we “hear” best. Consequently, we often feel like we are giving and giving and giving love, but they don’t “hear” our caring loving actions, and actually can feel very unloved and unappreciated!
So, we need to be aware of our own love language, as well as theirs so that they feel loved and cared about. Otherwise, our efforts are not having the effect we think they “should”.
For example, my love language might be words of appreciation, and so I naturally give my daughter, whom I love very much, lots of compliments and kudos and “I love you so much, you are so beautiful”. But if her love language is gifts, and I neglect to give her little notes or packs of gum, or a special rock that reminds me of her, she does not think I care as much for her as I do. She likes tangible evidence of my love.
Knowing our love language is very important so that we can communicate it to our loved ones and let them know when we appreciate their love offerings. And obviously, learning to speak our loved ones’ language is crucial so that we can give them love and caring in a language they can “hear”. It keeps everyone’s “love tank” filled so that we feel good and loved. Chapman says that relationships are much more satisfying and nurturing when we are conscience of how THE OTHER ONE likes to be loved and give it to them.
I have applied these concepts to my relationships with my parents too, and it clears up lots of missed opportunities or confusing interactions.
I highly recommend any one of the books on 5 Love Languages!