SFP 167: The Love Languages + Children [with Diane Debrovner of Parents Magazine]

In today's episode, we are discussing the 5 Love Languages as they pertain to children. I am joined by Diane Debrover, the Deputy Editor of Parents Magazine where we talk through each of the Love Languages and explore how they show up in children. Spoiler alert: I've got my reservations about the Love Language of gifts.

Show Notes/Links:

Transcription of Full Episode

Denaye:            Hi Diane. Thanks for joining me today.

Diane:              Hi Denaye. So nice to be with you.

Denaye:            It's good to chat. Tell me a little bit about yourself personally, professionally.

Diane:              My name is Diane Debrovner. I am the deputy editor of Parents Magazine and I've actually been here for many, many years. I started out as a senior editor and then I was the health and psychology editor and I've been a deputy editor for many years. I oversee our coverage of articles related to children's health, and development, and behavior, and relationships, and books, and a bunch of other things. I am the mother of two daughters who are now 14 and 25 but I very clearly remember when they were very young and I was a young mother myself. So I am absolutely in the mindset of your audience and our audience and it's been a real privilege to be at Parents all this time and see how things have changed and stayed the same at the same time.

Denaye:            Right. So your kids pretty much grew up with the magazine. Your first daughter was born shortly before you started working there?

Diane:              She was, she was 18 months old when I started working at Parents. And then my daughters are 11 years apart. I was divorced and I got remarried and when I had a second baby, it was really great for my career. There aren't a lot of people who can say that. So I threw myself back into the content in a very hands on way.

Denaye:            How long has Parents been around?

Diane:              Parents was founded in 1926, believe it or not.

Denaye:            Oh my goodness. I had no idea. Wow.

Diane:              Yes, we celebrated our 90th anniversary a few years ago and there used to be a lot of other parenthood magazines and there really are not now. Our challenge has been to continue to be authoritative and really be on top of the latest medical advice and research that relates to raising children. But also look at what's happening in our culture and make sure that the advice that we're giving and the way that we're reflecting parenthood back to our audience is authentic and makes sense for 2019.

Denaye:            Wow, it's a huge accomplishment to have lasted 90 years. And you're right, a lot of the parenting magazines that I knew of just even a few years ago really aren't around anymore. So Parents has prevailed.

Diane:              Parents are getting information from all different places. From each other online, from podcasts like yours, from books. And so I think that at the magazine we really see our job as helping parents. One of our jobs is to help parents have a toolkit of resources that are helpful to them in doing their job. And your job as a parent keeps changing as your child gets older, right? Just when you think that you've got it down when your kid is a baby, then she becomes a toddler and you have to come up with some new strategies. So every article that we run, and I'm sure every podcast that you run isn't necessarily going to ring true to every single parent, but those that do can be incredibly helpful. We just want to give moms and dads all the resources that we can.

Denaye:            Right. And I totally agree with that. I've always been a fan, slash also a friend, I guess, of Parents and the content that you have. I think that it's a nice succinct way to present new topics to parents. I imagine that you've probably seen the pendulum swing back and forth on different types of parenting styles and whatnot over the years.

Diane:              I think certainly on the topic of over parenting, which is a topic that I know is near and dear to your heart. I have seen the pendulum come and go. That's certainly one area where parents felt that they were doing the right thing by being really involved and protecting their kids from dangers. And I think there's been a profound realization that doing too much for our kids is doing a disservice to them. So we're helping parents find the right balance.

Denaye:            Right. And I think that sometimes it can seem like these trends come and go in parenting, but I actually think that some of the big shifts have been... I mean if you think about back, and I think it was maybe the 30s or 40s when doctors were saying you shouldn't hold your baby too much, you shouldn't touch them too much and that that was going to spoil them. There was a lot of that type of chatter going on back in the 30s and 40s. Then once research around child development really started to come out, which wasn't really until closer to the 50s, 60s, 70s, and now obviously we constantly have new research coming out. It's not necessarily that the pendulum has been swinging back and forth, back and forth. It's more of we're just getting more information all the time and we're learning how humans grow and develop all the time.

Diane:              Yes, I think you're absolutely right. I think you're right. And certainly we have so much information and I think that the tendency to over parent and be nervous about our kids being in danger is because we have access to so much of that medical research and 24/7 news. The world is a scary place and it's an understandable instinct that parents want to protect their kids. It's not a bad thing. It's coming from a place of love.

Denaye:            Yes, better safe than sorry is an expression that I hear a lot from parents and I agree with it on some occasions. Then others, I feel like it's sometimes can hurt us more than help us.

Diane:              Well, congratulations on your book, because your book [crosstalk 00:06:01] articulates a lot of this same philosophy and I found it incredibly helpful, and enjoyable and it makes a tremendous amount of sense. So congratulations on that.

Denaye:            Oh, thank you. It has been such a fun journey and I've loved hearing the feedback from all the readers, so I do appreciate that. The article that I want to talk about today, Diane, is about the love languages. I know you all had recently published an article on the love languages, a feature article. And you talk about applying the love languages to children, which isn't something that I necessarily think of. Because when I think about the love languages I think about it more in a partner or marriage sense. I'm not really familiar with thinking about the love languages in terms of our children. I'd love to hear just a little bit about for anyone that might not be familiar with the love languages, what they are, where they came from.

Diane:              The Five Love Languages is a book that was written by Dr. Gary Chapman actually more than 25 years ago. I had always heard about them and I think a lot of people have a vague sense of what they are. But I actually wasn't incredibly familiar with them. We decided to revisit the topic because one of our regular writers stumbled upon the book when she was having a hard time making sense of her own child's behavior. The original book and the subsequent book, which is called The Five Love Languages for Children, talks about the fact that there are five different ways that everybody expresses love. And that we all like all of them, but that every person has one way that is particularly meaningful to him or her. And that if you can identify which of those love languages is your child's preferred one, then you're in a better position to let your child really appreciate how you feel.

Diane:              And it's also a way to anticipate any possible behavior problems that could be related to the fact that your child is not feeling as loved in the way that she would like to be. So it was an aha moment for Gail Cornwall, who wrote this story for us. And once we dug into it, it was really quite interesting. And I think it doesn't necessarily ring true for every parent, but for many it can be quite telling.

Denaye:            When I think about the five love languages, I think that some parents might default to thinking like, "Of course my kid knows that I love them." Like, "Of course I love my kid." But I think one of the pieces of this that's really important to consider is how your child can feel connection to you. Because in this busy, chaotic world, I think that's one of the things that's lacking so often, is that our kids get shuffled from one place to the next and they don't actually slow down and connect with us.

Diane:              And certainly if you are making an effort to express your love in the way that you have discovered is most significant to your child, your child will be really, not just appreciative, but really feel like you get him. That you understand where he's coming from and that's a really powerful feeling for kids.

Denaye:            Right. Because even though of course we love our kids, they might need to hear it and to feel it in ways that aren't necessarily as natural to us.

Diane:              I mean, your kid isn't obviously going to say like, "Oh my mother understands my love language. Thank you so much for... [crosstalk 00:00:09:51]." But wordlessly, I think that they will experience the benefit of it.

Denaye:            Yeah. They're going to be more calm. They're going to feel more connected. I feel like the rhythm and general feeling of your days may flow a little bit more smoothly.

Diane:              I hope so.

Denaye:            What do you think the benefits of understanding your kids' love language is?

Diane:              One of the things to say from the beginning, what distinguishes children's expression of the love language versus adults, is that kids tend to show their love for us in the same way that they want to be loved. If physical touch is their primary love language, they are going to be very hands on with their parents. They not only will be hugging them, but they might be pulling your hair and tugging on your pant leg and wanting to sit in your lap. Some of that might seem a little bit annoying to some parents. But it's not that they're just snuggling under a blanket, but they're just being very seemingly needy in a physical way.

Diane:              I think once you can appreciate the fact that they're doing that because they just are a physically oriented child, then we can perceive their behavior in a more positive way and receive it more openly, and then turn around and find ways to be physically affectionate with our child that are surprising, and fun, and touching for our child.

Denaye:            That brings us to the first love language, which is touch. And I think this is one that is going to resonate with so, so many people who have young children. Because I feel like young children tend to touch a lot.

Diane:              They absolutely do. And I think with very young children, it may seem like they all want to touch. I mean, if we go through the different love languages, some of them relate to kids who want to hear the words, I love you. And they want you to do certain things for them. And obviously when you have a very young child who can't talk yet, touch is really all babies' primary love language.

Diane:              But there are kids who just want to be close to you all the time. And I think that holding their hand and rubbing their back and encouraging them to sit in your lap, that you can see there are certain children in particular that I think that you'll see their level of calm increase. And that they'll just melt into you in a way that's very telling.

Denaye:            There are a lot of kids who need touch and ask for it in less than gentle and less than pleasant ways. I'm thinking about recently my kids were at a yoga class, and they were in different parts of the room, and they were doing whatever the yoga move was, downward facing dog or whatever it was. And all of a sudden my daughter just stopped what she was doing, ran over and smacked my son on the head and then just ran back to her spot. It seemed like this really random non-aggressive yet also not entirely appropriate behavior, but it was almost like, "Hey brother, I see you over there." Like, "I just wanted to say hi."

Denaye:            I laugh a little bit because it's my son and he survived and he was fine with it. But just because it was this sign that she sometimes uses her body in ways that, sure I don't love it. But also she's three and she's still learning how to communicate and she's still learning how to express herself.

Diane:              And she probably wouldn't have done it with another kid in the class. But I think that kids feel comfortable being themself and being uninhibited with their parents. And the nice thing is that they feel that way with their siblings often too. And it has pros and cons. But I think she feels like he's going to understand her and what her motivation was, which is nice.

Denaye:            And she might've have been in the back of the classroom feeling less connected and was just looking for that little touch point. Quite literally, touch point, slap point, whatever you want to call it. And she found it and then she went back to her space and she was just fine. I see that in my kids towards me too, that sometimes they're hanging on my leg or climbing on my shoulders and in my personal space in ways that is, like you said, it gets a little bit annoying and a little bit invasive. But it's not that they're doing it to annoy us. They're doing it to elicit attention and touch from us.

Diane:              And when you're talking about the slapping, I think as kids get older, and I guess younger kids too, that certain kids play wrestling and jostling and what seems like not affectionate touching meets the same need for certain kids too.

Denaye:            Yeah, I agree with that. So the next love language is gifts. What do you think about the love language of gifts?

Diane:              Well, I know how you feel about gifts.

Denaye:            Right, that's why I asked you first.

Diane:              Well, what I thought was interesting about this love language is that it's not just that kids want constant presents and they're very needy, and they want more stuff all the time. But that they really see any gift as being an embodiment, a reflection of how you feel about them. So that they really see it as something that you're doing because you love them. And the benefit is that it doesn't have to be a 200 piece Lego set. It could be a really beautiful stone that you picked up on a walk, or it could be a Origami swan that you made out of paper, or anything that you give to your child that is a way of saying, "You know what, I was thinking about you today and I wanted you to have this because I love you, and I thought it would be special to you."

Diane:              These are kids who take great pleasure in seeing how an actual gift might be wrapped. They might always remember who gave what gift to them and they often have a hard time throwing things away because everything that they received as a gift is special to them.

Denaye:            Yeah. I see a little bit of that in my daughter. She loves to give gifts and because she's only three, she doesn't really give gifts very often, but she does make up her own gifts. She often will take Magna-Tile squares and make a cube and then put little toys inside of it. And then have me wrap it up with one of her scarves and that's the wrapping paper. But it's meaningful to her to be presenting something to someone and to be showing someone else that she's thinking about you.

Diane:              And she probably watches your reaction very closely and wants to make sure that you appreciate it just as much as she does, right?

Denaye:            Yes. Yes, for sure. I guess when you're thinking about the love language of gifts for kids, I think this can be a slippery slope. I mean, all kids like to get gifts. So who are the kids that have gifts as their love language? What kids need gifts to feel loved? That's a tricky question.

Diane:              I actually think that this is probably the least common love language and it's surprising because all kids like gifts. I actually think that most kids truly crave love in other ways more than gifts, which is a good thing. I think that there may just be certain kids who like concrete manifestations of things. They like objects and they like being able to look at something and an actual thing reminds them of a person. I don't know. I don't really know what the psychological ramifications of that are.

Denaye:            I don't know either. I wonder if it can be a result of the way that kids were raised. If we're given a lot of gifts from the very beginning and they came to expect that, if that can be part of it. I don't know. I'm kind of a skeptic in general about gifts as a love language and I know there's a lot of people out there who say like, "Oh, gifts are my love language. That's how I show my love." But I feel like sometimes, and now this isn't always, but sometimes gifts as a love language can be a cop out because... Maybe I shouldn't say cop out, but it can be a way of expressing your love when you're not comfortable with the other ways. When you're not comfortable saying it or physically showing it. It's a little bit more of a distant, at arms length way of showing love. Do you follow [crosstalk 00:19:22] thing at all?

Diane:              I absolutely do. I mean, I think that there are certainly plenty of people, maybe there are grandparents who feel more comfortable showering their grandchildren with lots of gifts rather than saying, "Let's spend the day together and do a really fun activity that we'll both remember forever." The presence instead of the present as I know you like to talk about. It's certainly easier to hand somebody a necklace than to just tell them how you feel about them. It's harder for some people than others on the giving end. And certainly if kids have been showered with lots of gifts from a young age, they come to expect it. I think that that is understandable, whether that's really their love language, I don't know. But kids like routine and if their routine in their life is that the people who were important to them always gave them lots of gifts, that's how they think the world works. And if it changes, they think something's wrong.

Denaye:            Well first of all, I love the examples that you all gave, like the stone or the wildflower on their pillow or little just natural tokens. More, I would say tokens of your love rather than toys per se. Because I think that those things are not necessarily being given to light a kid up and to just cause this extreme elation and focus on the item. The focus is more on the act itself and on the person who gave it rather than on the gift itself. It's not such a fabulous gift that the kid completely forgets where it came from or the intent behind it.

Diane:              And the message is when I saw this little dandelion today, it was so bright and cheerful it made me think of you. And you're so bright and cheerful and I wanted you to have it. So I think that the message of I was thinking about you, and I thought this would make you happy, and make you smile is more important than the actual object.

Denaye:            Yes, and I think that our kids appreciate those type of gifts more than we realize.

Diane:              Yes. They want to think that we're thinking about that when we're not together. That's one of the best things we could tell them.

Denaye:            Right, because I think that when we give gifts, we don't always give them with connection. And that example that you just gave with a dandelion that is giving a gift and giving connection at the same time. Because you're showing your feelings through the gift rather than just handing over this wrapped gift and the kid runs away with it.

Diane:              My parents just celebrated a very big anniversary and they really don't need any gift at all. They have everything that they need at this point in their life. And I was feeling like I should get them a gift. It was a big anniversary. And then I said, "You know what? I'm going to really write them a beautiful letter and tell them all the reasons why I love them, and what a great influence they've been on me, and what their marriage has meant to me and my life." This overlaps with the love language of words of affirmation and telling someone how you love them. But I had an instinct that that would mean the most to my parents and I was absolutely right. It really was received in the spirit that I gave it. And so that was really a nice moment for us recently.

Denaye:            Yeah. Well, let's talk about that love language of saying how you feel. And I think that this can be one of the hardest love languages for adults.

Diane:              For adults to communicate with other adults or with their children?

Denaye:            With other adults, I think. With kids it's a little bit easier for us to profess our love and to talk about the ways that we adore them, but with other adults and even maybe as our kids get older and get to be teenagers, I don't... Have you seen that as your kids have gotten older that it's a little bit harder or a little bit less automatic? Just talk in loving ways towards them?

Diane:              Yes, I do. I mean, I think in my family, with my younger daughter in particular, it's very habitual for us to say I love you when we say good night to each other at the end of the day, or when we part. When I leave her in the morning and she says, "I love you," and I say, "I love you." And I don't think that it is necessarily just a reflex, but it's just, we have always made it part of our mode of interaction. That transition time is a way to just communicate how we feel about each other. And there have definitely been times recently when my daughter was mad at me and she was really grumpy. And yet when she said good night to me at the end of the evening and she said, "Sleep well, I love you," I really didn't think it was a habit. I really think it was her way of using that routine as a way to apologize for the fact that she'd been difficult and circle back.

Diane:              I don't think that parents need to feel that they have to feel pressure to come up with a new and better, more articulate way to express their love in words every time. And I think that some of the same phrases, whether it's I love you or pet names that you have for each other, or just familiar interactions, have the same power to kids that they just feel like, "Oh, you know, yeah. This is how I talk to my mom."

Denaye:            Yeah, and our family, we say if we're frustrated with each other, after the frustration calms down a little bit. We'll say to each other, "Sometimes we get frustrated with each other, but we still love each other." I think that for me is really important because I'm communicating to my kids that, yes, I got upset with you. Yes, I got angry with you, but I still love you. And it might seem obvious to adults, but our kids, especially when they're young, they think in very black or white.

Denaye:            So if you ever have had a kid that says, "Oh, why do you hate me?" or things like that, it could be because they have this black or white thinking still. And when you're angry with them, they automatically think you don't like them or you don't love them. It's hard for them to see you being angry and still see you as a loving person, to see that simultaneously. I think that that's my intent behind that expression, that sometimes we get angry with each other. Sometimes we get frustrated with each other, but we still love each other. It's a way of not necessarily apologizing for my feelings because I don't think that we always have to apologize when we get angry, but at acknowledging, yes, I got angry and yes, I still love you. We're still good. That peace offering.

Diane:              You mentioned teenagers and I think that it certainly gets more difficult because you're not necessarily hearing loving words as much from your teenager anymore. But they're very sensitive to what seems sappy. They'll roll their eyes if you say something to them that you may have felt comfortable saying to your younger child sometimes. But even when it seems like they're not loving you in the moment or they're annoyed with you, or you don't think they really want to be with you, they still really do. You just have to remind yourself of that. Even if it's harder for them to tell you as they get older, they still want you around. They still love you, they still care what you think.

Denaye:            And even if they're rolling their eyes, they actually probably do secretly like it. Let's talk about the fourth love language, which is acts of service.

Diane:              Acts of service, there are certain kids who particularly enjoy a thoughtful gesture, something that you go out of your way to do that just seems just really nice and something that you're choosing to do because you know what makes them happy. And I think that a lot of parents struggle with this notion because we feel like our kids' servants a lot of the time anyway, right? That we're constantly in positions where we could be doing things for them. And I know that you feel strongly that we want to be raising our kids to be independent, capable individuals and that it's a trap to continue to do things for them. So I think that with this love language of acts of service, it's really more a question of small, thoughtful gestures.

Diane:              Like it's cold and I'm going to take your sweatshirt and I'm going to stick it in the dryer for 10 minutes so that when you put it on, it's warm. I make heart-shaped pancakes for my daughter for breakfast on most mornings. So little small things that show your child that yes, even though you know that they are an increasingly big kid who can do things for themselves, but you want to make their life a little bit easier sometimes because you love them.

Denaye:            Yes. And there's a famous Maria Montessori quote that says, "Never do for a child what he or she can do for themself." I think it's a great quote, but I also don't abide by it 100% of the time or even close to 100% of the time. Because I think that there are things that my kids can do that are still hard for them to do. My daughter has some shoes that are tricky for her to put on. She can put them on, but it's a struggle and if she's extra tired, she might need a helping hand and I'm happy to say, "Okay, you put one on and I'll put one on," and try to meet in the middle. I don't think just because a child can do all these things themselves means that we are off the hook. Like, "All right, that's no longer part of my responsibility." I think we can still step in and do things for our kids and I don't think we're doing a disservice to them.

Diane:              I would agree. I would agree. And certainly helping a child learn how to do a particular skill that's tougher for them to master and being patient with your child as they are learning how to do something and not getting frustrated is another act of service. My 14 year old daughter literally is just learning how to swallow a pill. She's had a really hard time with it over the years and just last night she swallowed a pretty big Ibuprofen by herself. I was so happy for her and it really... I can't tell you how many times we've just talked through different strategies and different ways that she could do it and make it easy for her.

Diane:              We don't need to analyze my daughter's swallowing technique, but the patience of helping her learn how to do it herself and that's something I can't do for her. The only thing I can do is say, "Okay, we'll buy you the chewable pills or you can still take the liquid." I can't swallow it for her, but sticking with her and not getting frustrated and making her feel that a kid your age should be able to do this by herself by now was an act of service to her.

Denaye:            That's tricky. It is because I mean she obviously had anxiety around swallowing the pill, it made her anxious. The idea of this big thing going down her throat, understandably. And if you would've said like, "Just do it. You're old enough to do it." Or if you would have approached it like that, it would have just added to the anxiety. I think that sometimes that's our inclination as parents is to just have these expectations and to just preach them at our kids and to not realize that sometimes we're doing more harm than good.

Diane:              Right. No, I mean it doesn't matter really if most kids can do something at a particular age. If your kid can't, then you just have to meet her where she is and not make her feel ashamed that she's not on par with everybody else.

Denaye:            Yes, I completely agree with that. The fifth love language is the love language of wanting to spend time together.

Diane:              Right. Dr. Chapman calls it quality time and these kids are the ones who will constantly say, "Come here, I got to show you something. Look at me do a cartwheel." They are trying to get our attention and want to show us things. I think that is often a sign that they really want to feel like they have our undivided attention. And particularly now when we have electronic devices that are pinging at us and calling to us all the time, that kids are aware of the fact that our attention is divided more than it should be. And they really want us to put our phone down and not do anything else other than give them, even if it's two minutes or five minutes of undivided attention. Yes, I want to see the feedback your teacher gave you, or I want to see you do a somersault or whatever it is that our kid wants to show us.

Denaye:            You've been a full time working mom your entire parenthood. So do you think that this is tricky for full time working parents to be able to fit in this quality time?

Diane:              Sure. It is tricky. I mean we have less total number of hours to be together. But I think that my strategy, honestly in life in general, has just been to get up a little earlier. There aren't that many problems I haven't been able to solve by getting up earlier. That if I give myself a little extra time in the morning to do everything that I need to do for myself for example, by the time my kids are awake, I can focus more on being there for them in the way that they need me. Obviously I'm not doing everything for them, but I think as a working parent you can be strategic in terms of carving out the time that you need to do your own stuff so that you're not trying to do everything at once.

Denaye:            Right. And sometimes it's quality over quantity when it comes to time. It's hard to put your phone away and to just focus on being with your kids. But if you don't have hours and hours everyday to do it, making those small windows of time can be really impactful.

Diane:              I've heard people talk about the fact if you have 10 great minutes with your kid once a day, that's powerful, right. They'll remember what you did in those 10 minutes rather than two hours of running back and forth in the same home and not really paying attention to what the other person is doing and parallel playing. If you can say, "I have 10 minutes, what do you want to do together? Just you and me right now." And that's meaningful.

Denaye:            Right, or just even stopping and looking them in the eye at the end of the day and asking them how their day was and just little bits of connection can go so far. I don't think we need to put pressure on ourselves to be there or be present with them all the time.

Diane:              My older daughter and I used to go out for Chinese food every Friday night, the two of us. I have a blended family and I got remarried when she was 10 years old. So she had a new stepfather and we had a routine that we had dinner together once a week, just the two of us. And it really meant a lot to her. She didn't have to share me with him anymore on that one night and we did it for many years and it made a big difference for her I think.

Denaye:            Oh, I love that. And it's just those little, little bits of time that we prioritize I think can be really powerful.

Denaye:            Looking at all these love languages, it makes me wonder if anyone's out there is listening, thinking I need to figure out my kids' love languages. Put this on my list of a million things that I have to do. Figure out their love language, make sure that I'm catering to their love language. Do you think that this is something that needs to be done really intentionally or we may be already doing some of it?

Diane:              I don't think it has to be on your to do list. I think that having it in the back of your mind can just help you have some aha moments in your everyday life that perhaps you might not ordinarily have had. And if you just notice patterns in the way your child is acting, just like we're always looking for patterns in various things. If you're trying to figure out, I don't know, why while your kid is itching his eyes. I mean a lot of what parents do are trying to piece together clues that tell us certain things about our children. I think that this is just a different lens through which to see your child's behavior.

Diane:              For some people it will be very obvious and they're like, "Oh my goodness, that's what he's trying to tell me." And for other parents it may not resonate as much and that's okay. I can't really pinpoint my older daughter's love language as clearly as I can my younger daughter's. And that's okay.

Denaye:            Yeah, and I think one of the powerful things that can come from this is this idea that we can really parent each child differently and actually we sometimes need to parent each child differently in order to meet their needs.

Diane:              Definitely, definitely. And I think that that's true in so many ways beyond love languages and that we don't need to treat our kids equally. We just need to treat them fairly. Not fairly, but that we need to give each child what he or she needs at that time.

Denaye:            Right. Because we can spend a lot of time and energy trying to be fair and trying to be equitable and no matter how much we try to do that, the way that our children perceive that fairness and equality is never going to be fair and equal. So instead of trying to spend our time and energy being fair and equal, if we just spend our time and energy trying to meet the needs of our children individually, I think we'll probably get a lot farther.

Denaye:            Well, this has been great chatting today, Diane. Thank you so much.

Diane:              Thank you so much for having me. This has been really fun, time flew by.

Denaye:            I know Parents Magazine you can get on the newsstands, you can get it online. You have a Facebook group too, right?

Diane:              We do. We have a Parents in Real Life Facebook page. We have a regular Facebook page on Parent's Facebook, but we have a special group called Parents IRL and you have to request to join. But we would love to have you. We are happy to have anyone who just confirms for us that they are actually a parent of young children. It's really a community where there's a lot more interaction, not only with each other, but also the editors of the magazine. We go on to the IRL page and talk about articles that we're working on and want feedback from other moms and dads about the issues that they're struggling with so that we can cover the issues that they care about.

Denaye:            Great. All right, well I'll put those links in the show notes and I'll put the link to this article in the show notes too.

Diane:              Excellent.

Denaye:            Great. Great. Well, thank you so much, Diane.

Diane:              Thank you. Have a great day.

Denaye:            You too. Bye.

Denaye Barahona

Dr. Denaye Barahona is a loving wife and mama of two. She partners with families to tackle the challenges of raising children. Denaye is a minimalist who claims to be a decluttering expert (don't let her near your closet). She loves to travel, talk health-and-wellness, and give unsolicited advice. She has been featured on the likes of The Today Show, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Minimalists, Motherly, Becoming Minimalist, and numerous other media outlets. Denaye holds a Ph.D. in Child Development and is a Clinical Social Worker with a specialty in child and family practice.