A New Valentine’s Day Tradition for Kids: Beyond Cute Cards and Sweets

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“Here are some chocolates I was guilted into getting for you.”

Valentine’s Day seems to be getting a bad rap lately. The holiday of love is being accused of commercialism, a reason to spend money unnecessarily, spiking insulin with all those chocolates, and putting undue pressure on new relationships to “do something.” On the other hand, it’s also a good excuse for those in long-term relationships to make time for each other.

Then there is the completely different Valentine’s Day that children have. Making cute cards for grandparents and teachers, exchanging silly cards with classmates and munching sugar-laden candies are coming to mind for me. This year I’ve decided to do something a little different. Not all love is romantic love and not all love is friendship. There is also the very special bond of love between parent and child.

Our lives are busy. We work. We school. We take care of the house and car and run errands and make dinner. Most days are not perfect and kids hear “no” and “stop” quite a bit. Our kids know we love them, but why not take special time during this often glossed over holiday to show them exactly why? I don’t know about you, but I want my son to remember the “I love yous” and “You are special to me because” statements more than the times he hears “Please do not climb on the toilet” or “For the twentieth time, shoes!!  Now!!

1492191This year I’m creating a heart jar for my son. I’m going to write 14 things I love about him on paper hearts and put them in a jar. Each morning beginning on February 1st I’ll let him draw one heart out of the jar, read it to him, and let him glue or tape it to a giant Valentine’s Day card. He will learn the true meaning of a day that celebrates love and start his day with a emotional boost, even if I do have to tell him twenty times to put on his shoes or he’ll be late for school.

Who knows? Maybe this will become a tradition. Each year as he grows into himself more and more, the things I love about him will evolve, too. We can look back and see how he’s grown. In a few years he won’t need any help reading what’s on the hearts, and he’ll be able to see that no matter how much he grows and changes, he is valued, he is appreciated and he is loved.

May you and your family have the most loving Valentine’s Day yet! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for weekly fun videos – tomorrow I’m posting “Cupid in Disguise” in honor of Valentine’s Day – a sweet poem with a little twist! You won’t want to miss it.

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