I used to hate Valentine’s Day. Nominating sooner or later out of the yr the place we’re all supposed to be mushy and purchase flowers and candies to proclaim our love sounds a complete lot like peer strain and nothing like precise love to me. I truly hated it a lot that on our wedding ceremony day, I made my husband promise to by no means purchase me flowers on Valentine’s Day.
And right here I am, just a few children later, bursting on the seams to have fun Valentine’s Day. I used to assume it was all about romance and relationships, however it means one thing completely totally different to me now. My school-aged children have gotten extra conscious of their area, who they’re, and the way they slot in. They don’t seem to be always throughout the partitions of our own residence the place I get to dictate all of the issues they study and comprehend. Now they spend lots of time at college, surrounded by different youngsters, raised by different adults who’ve totally different beliefs and ideologies than I do. Out of the blue, they’re forming their very own opinions primarily based on the tales of different people. These people, largely youngsters, do not all the time have the identical values as I do. However my children are listening. And so Valentine’s Day has change into one massive alternative for me to reiterate to my youngsters what love actually is.
I’m educating them love for the children which can be teased. Love for the children that do the teasing. Love for the children who’re making an attempt to determine who they’re. And most significantly, an abundance of love for themselves.
I’ve by no means met a human who was drained of listening to how beloved they’re. And so my husband and I purchase our children little heart-shaped containers of candies and write them every their very own love be aware. After which, we assist them do the identical. The children will pick a deal with and embody a particular be aware for one of their pals at college. My older ones are elementary-age and can write issues they like about their good friend. One yr my boy wrote “I like how good you are at football” and my daughter wrote about taking part in on the monkey bars collectively on a regular basis. We strive to steer them towards complimenting qualities moderately than trend statements, however generally that occurs too. I’ve discovered not to appropriate them as a result of I need them to converse their very own ideas and I know that regardless of what they are saying, they’re nonetheless doing an deliberately type factor. The motion alone is sweet. However we additionally take that chance to assist them perceive their very own worth system by asking questions like “Why do you enjoy playing with this friend at recess?” or “What are important characteristics in a friend? How does this friend display those?”
After which we offer them with a chance to follow self-love. The reality is, somebody, sooner or later, goes to say one thing that may harm every of them. We have all undergo it and there’s merely no avoiding it. When I was a child, we had been instructed issues like “if he’s teasing you, he likes you” and we had been taught to take one other’s inappropriateness as a praise. I don’t need my children to assume that. Fairly, I need them to hear that hurtful remark and instantly know that it isn’t true. I need them to be stuffed with a lot love for themselves that they do not query their very own reality primarily based on another person’s opinion. However I know the one method they are going to actually really feel that love for themselves is that if I educate them how.
So the primary week of February, I seize cut-out hearts from the greenback bins at Goal and I have them write issues they love about themselves. We give them complete freedom to write something they need. Their solutions have ranged from “I’m fun” and “I’m brave,” to “I’m a fast runner.” Then we dangle them up within the hallway subsequent to their bedrooms in order that they see them every day. It is a easy train that has introduced a lot worth to our household. It’s my hope that educating our kids to remind themselves of their truths permits them to regularly domesticate self love.
Is Valentine’s Day a very commercialized vacation full of pressured flower purchases and two-hour lengthy dinner waits? Most likely so. However for my household, it is also a very nice alternative to educate our kids how to love themselves and others overpriced candies non-compulsory.