Valentine’s Day seems to be one of the most polarizing holidays for people. There are those who love it and look forward to it every year. Others dislike it, especially if they have recently split with their partner or feel a sense of obligation around it.
No matter what your own feelings are, you have the opportunity to make Valentine’s Day wonderful for your child. It’s a great day to help your child feel loved and connected with you. You can help them create good memories surrounding your family along with the holiday. If you have an adolescent, recognize that they may feel nervous or sad about the holiday depending on their current relationship status, but you can help them have some great moments that day regardless of what happens at school or with their crush.
A great way to make Valentine’s Day, or any holiday, special, is to create a tradition for that day. Really, any holiday is a great time to develop a new family tradition, but I think Valentine’s Day is one of the best holidays to start with. Since there aren’t many cultural or religious rituals for families already in place, it should be pretty easy for you to find the time and space to create a new tradition.
Traditions are important ways to connect and bond with other people. Religious groups, sororities, fraternities, and even the military have a ton of traditions that focus on helping the members feel like part of the group. This idea can work the same way for your family. Having rituals that are unique to your family can help you each feel more connected to each other. In addition, having a yearly tradition to consistently look forward to each year helps build emotional safety in your child. By knowing they can expect the same thing on February 14th year after year, they continue to develop trust and confidence in you as a parent.
Traditions can be less meaningful if they become about material things or doing things perfectly. Stay away from anything that costs you a lot of money. It might be more difficult to continue in the future, and it’s really not necessary. In addition, it might send your child the wrong message about how someone should show love. I would also stay away from anything too complicated or involved – I’m looking at you, perfect Pinterest crafts! The main point of the tradition isn’t about these things – it’s about creating great family experiences.
Here are a few ideas for traditions. Some of them may seem like they are geared toward younger kids but really, these would work even with teens! They may act like they don’t care or say it’s cheesy (especially when you’re starting a new tradition), but stay consistent and they will appreciate the gesture.
I have to admit that I love Valentine’s Day. This is in large part because my parents created traditions around the holiday. Every year until I went to college, I came down to breakfast in the morning to find a card, stuffed animal, and chocolates at my place at the table. We often did something special together that day as well. Even now, both my parents still send cards for Valentine’s day. No matter what’s happening in my personal life, I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day, and this is in large part due to these traditions. Did you have any traditions growing up? What traditions are you creating with your family now?