Along with sweet treats and fragrant flowers, Valentine’s Day can also bring expectations of grand or material gestures of love towards the people we care about most. But for a parent who's juggling work and family life, focusing on the daily micro-moments might be more realistic.
Here are some simple, everyday ways you can show your child you love them, not only on Valentine’s Day, but all year round:
Easy, Everyday Ideas to Show Your Children You Love Them
- Write on the bathroom mirror. Whether it’s a phrase as simple as, “I love you and hope you have a great day!” or “You’re smart and strong,” greeting your child with unexpected words of encouragement when she wakes up in the morning is an easy way to make her feel empowered and important.
- Make heart-shaped pancakes. Morning, noon, or night - pancakes are a treat unto their own. Make them into the shape of a heart for Valentine’s Day or in the shape of your child’s initials for his birthday for a special surprise that will set the tone for his day.
- Put a note in her lunchbox. Your child’s school lunches may already be the envy of the class, but the addition of a sweet or funny note is the perfect touch to make your child feel your affection while you’re apart.
- Plan some quality time to do something fun. One-on-one time with your child doesn’t have to be costly or extravagant; stop for a snack after school, a walk in the park, or plan another activity outside of the daily routine.
- Discuss what love means to your family. Does your significant other help with chores around the house? Do you look in after your in-laws? Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to talk with your child about the meaning of love in your family and all of the special ways that you show your love for each other.
- Exchange love-inspired madlibs. Madlibs can be a fun, silly activity to do for or with your child. Have each of you fill out a Valentine's Day madlib and then trade for a sweet sentiment you can keep forever.
- Make a list of what you love and are thankful for. Have your child write down the people and things he is thankful for and why. This is a great way to instill gratitude and get him thinking about those less fortunate.
- Share stories or memories. A day focused on love is a great time to share a story with your child that shows how much you cherish your memories of her. Share a favorite moment from when she was born or from a time when she made you feel particularly proud.
- Buy a puzzle, assemble it, and write reasons you love your child on the back. Then, take the puzzle apart and give her a piece each day until complete.
- Start a new family tradition. Shake up the routine and eat dessert before dinner, try a new takeout spot, or volunteer as a family. Turn new traditions into lasting memories that your child will carry into adulthood.
- Decorate your child’s door with things you love about him. Depending on your child’s age, these could be anything from “I love that you share your toys” to “I love how you roar like a tiger.” It will be fun to see your child’s reaction and how these reasons change over the coming years.
- Spread the love. Find ways to share the love with people who need it. Have your child make extra Valentines and decide who to give them to. Talk about the importance of everyday kindness towards others.
Valentine’s Day is a great reminder to stop and think about the ways we discuss and express love with our families on a daily basis. These simple, everyday acts can go a long way towards strengthening family bonds and making lifelong memories.
Editor's Note: This blog post was written by Blog Editor, Kate Berube.