Valentine’s Day is all about love, it gives you the perfect opportunity to create more love in your family, not only between parent and child, but between siblings too. We all need to be cherished. But despite our good intentions, too often we forget to tell the people we love just how precious they are to us. Valentine’s Day reminds us to tell all of our loved ones (not only our sweethearts) how glad we are that they’re in our lives.
As a parent if you are wondering how to find time to deepen our connection with our children in our busy routines, here are some simple ideas to celebrate Valentine’s Day by creating your own family traditions.
1. Rethink Gifts
Valentine’s Gifts are NEVER about the item or product that teaches all the wrong lessons about love. Make this about the heart to heart expressions that build intimacy and connection. That means handmade cards, extra loving time together, or massages, not purchased gifts. In other words, a nice evening with an invitation to a massage and picnic supper in bed after the kids are asleep are a lot better than jewellery or candy.
2. A Letter of Appreciation
The best gift of all is always a simple letter to your loved ones detailing how grateful you are to have them in your life. Be as specific as possible; “The way you let me sleep in the morning while you make the kids breakfast” and "The way you sing off key” are even more satisfying than “You’re lovable,” because the recipient feels seen and appreciated. This isn't only for your partner; kids feel loved when we notice who they are and what they contribute to us, our family, and the world. Your kids will reread your letters during tough times. They'll save them for the rest of their lives.
3. Homemade Valentines
Kids feel loved when we spend time making something for them, rather than buying it. Why not make Valentines DIY crafts? This can be as simple as 15 minutes with red construction paper, scissors, and magic markers, or as elaborate as a joyful, creative family project for three hours. Need inspiration? There are websites galore.
4. A gift certificate for a backrub or foot massage every night for a month
Kids feel loved when we listen to them and give them an opportunity to talk through their daily challenges. Every single day, spend 15 minutes snuggling with each child before bed. Not reading, that's separate. Snuggle time is just chatting, or snuggling companionably. Most kids love a backrub and hand or foot rub. Darkness and impending lights out helps you connect soul to soul. After the month, you'll realize the gift was really to you, and you won't be willing to give up your new habit.
5. Let your kids know your love is with them all day
By tucking little construction paper hearts with love notes into their backpack, lunch box or pocket, for them to find throughout the day.
6. Make the dinner mood festive
Make the dinner mood festive with a short family dance party before dinner. Don't forget the romantic slow dance for the grown-ups! Finish with a family hug. After the dancing, have a candle-light dinner. After dinner, go around the table and give each person a chance to give an appreciation to every other family member.
7. Spread the love
Before Valentine’s Day, invite your kids' friends to make Valentines crafts. In fact, inviting friends always seems to double the fun, whatever their age.
8. Decorate the house
Those gifts from the past, and the messy, misspelled hearts from the little ones will become priceless evidence of their past adorableness, which even they will treasure as they get older. For the month of February, your house will be papered with love.
9. A telephone Valentine chain
Call someone dear to your family and pass the phone around to take turns telling this person you love them. Then ask that person to “Pass it forward” by calling someone they love, asking that person to call another, and so on.
10. Sound surround yourself with love
This is the day for your Love Song playlist. Or let your kids create a new one. Skip the heartbroken ones and go straight for celebration, all day long! As four wise teachers once said, “In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!