• The Importance of Valentine’s Day Traditions

    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.

      • Make your child a special Valentine’s day breakfast. Heart shaped pancakes or waffles, red food such as strawberries, or even a special treat of their favorite breakfast food.
      • Give your child a card and a small, thoughtful gift, such as a t-shirt of their favorite band or a book you think they might like. Write how you really feel about them in the card – don’t be afraid to be honest and open! After all, isn’t that how love should be?
      • Your child may be worried that they won’t get any valentines at school. You can still make the day special by sending them to school with a special note or treat in their lunch.
      • Have a Valentine’s Day dinner together as a family.  Again, this could be red food, a special dessert, or a combination of everyone’s favorite foods.
      • Make Valentine’s day crafts together. Depending on what these are, your kids could give them to their grandparents, teachers, or others they care about. The end product doesn’t matter as much as the time you spend with them working on it. Grandparents love to get little personalized gifts no matter how they turn out. 🙂
      • Do a random act of kindness together for someone else. For example, buy flowers or bake cookies for someone going through a rough time and leave them on their doorstep.
      • If your teen absolutely refuses to do anything Valentine’s day related, have an anti-Valentine’s day celebration!  Order pizza and watch a comedy or some non-romantic movie together. (Just be sure not to wear any red!)

    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?

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16 Responsesso far.

  1. Laura says:

    We love Valentine’s Day too! This is the first year my kids have really been old enough to both get involved and we are having a blast putting together fun cards for their classmates.

  2. Kym says:

    This is such a great post. I find myself so wrapped up in helping my kids prep for V-day parties at school, I forget about celebrating at home too. Thanks for all the great ideas! <3 #SITSBlogging

  3. Laurel says:

    We are going to have a family celebration as my husband will be home from a business trip.

  4. Fantastic advice!! Traditions are so important to provides kids with stability. My Dad used to give us all a gift when he came home from work on Valentines Day we always looked forward to it.

  5. My husband made having a Valentines Day treasure hunt for our girls every year at our house! This made the day special for our family. Learning that you are unconditionally loved by your family is so important.

  6. so true in that we have the opportunity to make it special for our kiddos. I find it to be a fun day just like any other holiday we celebrate, and use it as a teaching opportunity to reflect on what is special and what we ‘love’ about those in our lives that are dear to us.
    great post!

    • Kristi says:

      Such a good way to look at it, Laura! Love the idea of using holidays as teaching opportunities for reflections and love.

  7. Leilani says:

    Wish I was a kid again to make my “mailbox” and write out cards for school. Still have fun to this day making cookies. Agreed all the way, Doc!

  8. I love the heart-shaped banana slices! My son would love these! And notes in a lunch box are the best. I write him one every day and he loves them!

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