Back in the ’70s, there was no aisle of candy in the supermarket. Ralph’s only had some message-laden hearts to shake into each valentine I would sit down to sign and seal. Things have changed a smidge since then. From the music the stores play to displays meant to entice you to stop-and-shop to ads on your phone telling you where you need to go or what to buy in case you forgot how to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your special someone, it all feels a little artificially sweet. As you know, Valentine’s Day isn’t about stuff, but it can be hard for our children to see that. So how DO you explain the most famous day of love to a little human who has only been on the planet for a few years?
Teach them how to express their love by doing something that makes others happy!
- Depending on their age, ask them to tell you what they love about a parent/relative/pet and what that person does that makes them feel that way. If your child isn’t talking just yet, you can ask them to hug all of the people in the room that they love!
- Make something in the kitchen with your child for your family. Doesn’t have to be sweet! You can literally cut sandwiches into hearts or even more simply, peel carrots for snack for the family. Helping to make dinner counts, too!
- The next time they see a relative or someone important in their life, ask them to explain to them why they love that special person as they give them a hug!
- Ask them to help you walk the dog to the park or play ball in the backyard. Pets do a wonderful job of showing their appreciation!
Teach them by doing
- Put a note in their lunch highlighting something they did that was thoughtful or say how much you love them. Getting a message from a parent is the BEST!
- Make crafty art, like a homemade valentine, with your child on Valentine’s Day for their other parent. Then have them give it to him or her personally.
- Pick up a flower at HEB or cut one in your yard and have them give it to their teacher or neighbor.
- Explain how you are going to make Mommy’s favorite dinner for her and why that makes her feel special.
Cut to the chase…Tell them why you love them and others! And then ask them to say it, too!
- Tell them about the day they were born and your first experience loving them.
- Detail what you really appreciate about their other parent at dinner so that that person hears it, too! Chances are, it will start a love fest over chicken and vegetables!
- Comment randomly what you love about a situation, like someone allowing another car into traffic. Point out all the love that is shared in our community!
How do you explain Valentine’s Day to kids? By continuing everything you are already doing, maybe just jazz it up by taking a moment to point out how you feel how Daddy does such a good job taking care of your family, double the stories at bedtime, or say how much you care out loud tomorrow. Showing your child that you care about them and your family is easy. Going out to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day? Now THAT can be hard. 😉