Before you have kids, Valentine’s Day is all about having a lovefest with your partner or a night out with your besties. But once you become a parent, the holiday shifts to being an evening at home with the kids or stressing about finding a babysitter so you can go out for a romantic dinner. But you can also use Valentine’s Day to teach your little ones about love and affection.
“The biggest thing for me is reminding families to normalize what healthy relationships and expressions of love look like,” says Angelica Clark Brown, a regional resilience coach at MedStar Health and a clinical social worker. You can do this by showing them what healthy affection, quality time, random acts of kindness and effective communication look like.
These are some ways to rethink your Valentine’s Day celebration to be kid-friendly:
- Coordinate outfits - Matching pajama sets for the family, or even matching t-shirts or socks, can set the tone of love and start a tradition the kids will be happy to carry on every year.
- Share your love story - Even if they’ve heard it before, tell your children about how you and your partner met and fell in love, or what your wedding day was like. And don’t forget the photos!
- Make cards - Get crafty together by making cards for each other, or for the grandparents or extended family.
- Film a sentimental video - Let the kids express their feelings and love for their family in a video or by making a photo collage.
- Play themed games - Parents can create a treasure hunt around the house and let the kiddos have fun collecting all the treats. You can also create a simple game using plastic cups and individually wrapped candies, where each person has to use the candy in a sentence. For example, “I love your kisses,” and then they get to eat the Hershey’s Kiss.
- Have a movie night - Love-themed family-friendly films include “The Princess and the Frog,” “Cinderella,” “The Princess Diaries” and “Luca.”
- Create an at-home restaurant - Get the kids involved by coming up with a menu, creating the tablescape, and even helping to prep and cook dinner. And for dessert, you could make heart-shaped cookies, have a DIY ice cream sundae bar, or decorate cupcakes.
Source: The Washington Post
Photo: Getty Images