So, today is the day when much of the U S of A is “showing love” because it is Valentine’s Day. Historically, this is a holiday that roots back to ancient Rome as a festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration commemorated annually on February 15. Pope Gelasius I recast this pagan festival as a Christian feast day circa 496, declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day. (Wikipedia). Interesting isn’t it? Well, what today is now…in real life…is me staying up way too late last night, finishing all my daughter’s Valentine’s Day cards for her class party today.
So what do we want to teach our kids on today?
I don’t know about you, but after becoming a mom, I reassessed my participation in holidays and how exactly they play out in real life for my kids. I guess, once I became the “teacher” to my children about traditions and family practices, I had to personally reflect on whether I’m “all in” on things or not. I can’t really guide them in a direction I’m not totally feeling myself, right?
I’m currently leading a re-education of sugar in my family – wait for the post on that soon. Needless to say, I have had to downsize the amount of daily sugar intake and stop purchasing things that aren’t good for us as a family. Bye-bye pop-tarts and candy.
What I do love is that the schools have downsized the amount of sugar they allow in the classrooms for birthdays and festivities. That certain helps my life a bit. I don’t anticipate my children coming home today with lots of candy, if any at all.
Even in church this month, my kids are learning about love – but in the spiritual sense. They are learning what love looks like and how to live lovingly. There isn’t any association with Valentine’s Day, but the topic of love is being discussed.
Love is truly in the air, I guess.
So, all this got me thinking, about this holiday thing…and some alternative ways to show love with my kids today, without sugar or spending money. Here are a few that I discovered that I’d love to share:
#1 – List of Why I Love You (idea from Parentcue.org)
For every day of the month, write down something you love about your kid on separate pieces of paper. For example, 28 things for the month of February. You can write things like their laugh, to the way they help around the house to singing – get creative. Then, every night, affix your “love note” to the outside of your kid’s bedroom door or wall. This month, when they wake up each morning, make sure they see the new addition. Talk about how important it is to celebrate what we love about ourselves and about others.
#2 – Write notes of encouragement and leave them on car windows (idea from Parentcue.org)
Talk to your kids about the importance of speaking kind words and spending their lives being generous to others. When out and about, write random notes of encouragement and leave them on the windows of parked cars that you see.
#3 – End Your days with a recap of Proud Moments (something I came up with!)
I noticed parenting is a lot like managing people at work. And just like feedback is a gift at work, it’s so important for our kids to receive words of affirmation from us too. Not too long ago, I would find myself going through days without stopping and telling my kids what they were doing right. But you better believe they heard what they needed to work on. Probably very similar to what a manager might feel, more constructive feedback than anything else. So, I made it a point to end our days, not with just prayers, but our Proud Moments. I usually list 3 proud moments I’ve observed, followed by one thing they are working on and a thumbs up for good work. We end the exercise with a high-five and special handshake. And LET ME TELL YOU – they LOVE it!!! They will NOT let me skip out on this end-of-day routine.
Okay, now your turn! What great ways do you show and teach love to your kids without sugar or spending money? I’d love to hear from you.