It was Valentine’s Day and each student decorated a shoebox for the holiday. We all took turns dropping our Valentines into one another’s boxes. I remember picking up my box and finding a large, grown-up Valentine sitting on top, with a big box of chocolates. I was a shy fifth grader and I still remember how special it felt to receive that gift. And I remember the boy’s name . . . Jeff Hunky. Yep—that was his name! Jeff got teased by some of the other boys, but he continued to give me little gifts until we left elementary school and attended different junior highs. I smile at the memory and I hope Jeff Hunky found a wonderful woman to share every Valentine’s Day with.
Valentine’s Day provides us a unique opportunity to make others feel special. It’s fun to remind the people we care about that they are loved. It is also fun to teach our kids how they can show love to others too.
So, Moms and Dads, let’s think about Valentine’s Day early this year. Dads, how will you include your children in the shopping, creating, and giving of their Valentine to Mom? They can shop for flowers, cards, or the things they need to make cards. Moms, how will you help your kids honor their dad and tell them how much he is loved? Can the kids make something and send it to the office or surprise Dad with before school? Can they decorate a car or something at home with Valentines they have made?
You can celebrate early by making Saturday morning pancakes in the shape of hearts or decorate cookies with icing and pink and red candies. You can watch a fun “happily ever after” movie or go on a Valentine scavenger hunt. The family can celebrate their love for one another, simply by sharing some Valentine’s Day moments together.
What message will you give your children this Valentine’s Day? Parents can sometimes take for granted their ability to encourage and honor their kids. What do you love and respect about your children? Use the day to write a message to them and remind them how you feel.
Most importantly, what will you do to teach them about the love Mom and Dad have for one another? I know that not all my readers are married. I know that some might even be hurt or angry on this day. Valentine’s Day is a chance to remind your kids what it means to love one another. It’s important your kids understand that their parents still share a love for one another, even if they don’t still share a life with each other.
For those that are married . . . don’t let the day pass with just a quick card or gift. The greatest gift you will give your kids is to teach them that marriage doesn’t mean love grows stale or unimportant. Treat your kids to Valentine’s fun, but remind them that Mom and Dad deserve to spend time together too. Make your spouse the most important Valentine in your life. The kids matter, but they don’t matter most on this holiday.
Your children will spend less than twenty years at home with their parents. The majority of their lives will be spent with the family they will create one day. The best Valentine, for your little Valentines, is to let them see you treat your spouse with great love and admiration. The best gift you can give your children is the example of how to invest in a happy and strong marriage.
Enjoy the holiday with your family. But mostly, enjoy the holiday with your spouse. Valentine’s Day is a unique day to love your family, but love each other most. Happy Valentine’s Day to all you Moms and Dads . . . and especially to all you husbands and wives. Be good parents. Get a babysitter and leave your little Valentines behind. That is the best way to love them too.