What comes to mind when you first think of Valentine’s Day? Candy. Cupid. Cards. Chocolate. Hearts. Love. Romance. Gifts. Date Night. How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? How do you celebrate this special day with your child?
As a child, I remember my parents going out on a date for Valentine’s Day. But, Valentine’s Day was not just for my parents as they also wanted to validate the three children in my family on this day by letting us know how they cared about us and loved us. We could count on our parents showing us an act of love and appreciation! How can your children count on you?
In American culture, approximately 151 million cards are exchanged on Valentine’s Day (source: CNN), but go ahead and include the kids on this one, too! I remember my parents giving me a card with a hand written message telling me how they were proud of me or how I was special to them.
Morsels of chocolate and candy. According to statistics, $1.6 billion is spent on candy for Valentine’s Day (source: CNN). Instead of giving the ‘sweets’, take them to the sweets and make it something to remember. As a child, my dad would take me on a date to get ice cream or go somewhere special, allowing us to spend time together. Or, make it a family event and let the whole family go out for ice cream or a sweet treat this week.
Love Songs. There are too many out there to name. Perhaps you have a love song that is your go-to when you think about being in love. Pick a song for you and your child. It may be a child’s song such as “You Are My Sunshine” or “I’ll Love You Forever”. (Click here for a melody to use in the book next time you read it.) Maybe there is a pop song such as “You Can Count on Me” or “All You Need is Love”. Sing your chosen song to your child without the music playing in the background. Turn it into a lullaby for just you and your little one, making eye contact with them during the day as you sing, or as you put them to sleep. Singing with your child allows for bonding time and it releases endorphins, which is also good for helping with stress levels.
Some of you may say this holiday is about LOVE! Yes, this is true. Unfortunately, I could not find any statistics for family time on Valentine’s Day. The reality is that all children grow to adults and will begin to date and search for their significant other. By spending time with your children, by mothers showing love to their sons, and by fathers showing love to their daughters, this is demonstrating examples of healthy and loving relationships. Start a new tradition the week of Valentine’s Day with your children. Here is a link to an article, 15 Small Things Parents Should Do To Their Children Every Day To Make Them Feel Loved, for some ideas this week and in the future to model healthy loving relationships as your children grow up!
Need an idea for Valentine’s Day? The bear featured in the photo is available at Hallmark and it has a song for you and your child! By pressing the button on its ear, a child sings “You Can Count On Me” with a guitar accompaniment. To purchase, follow this link online, and in the product description, scroll to the bottom and click on the song title to hear an audio clip. As of this afternoon, there was only one still available at Readmore’s Hallmark in Piqua, but more are available at Katie’s Hallmark Stores on Old Troy Pike and on West National Road.