1. Homemade Cards
Charmaine Curtis, a mother of 6-year-old twin girls and a busy real estate developer, says she explained the meaning of Valentine's Day as soon as they were old enough to understand. "They know the day is about love and showing people that you care about them."
Charmaine says to make the cards, she gathers all sorts of art supplies: ribbons, heart-shaped doilies and pretty papers. She and the girls spend hours carefully crafting them for every kid in their classroom. "We then put the cards in little bags with pieces of candy." She accompanies the girls to school and helps place the bags in each kid's little cubbyhole. "The message is in the doing and the giving," she says about what lesson her twins are learning by making cards. "My gift to them is helping them."
2. Feel-good Dinners
"Our family isn't big on gift-giving for Valentine's Day," Charmaine explains. She and her husband Kurt would rather put the emphasis on the day's message and acts of love. This tradition occurs around the dinner table. "We go around and tell each other how much we love each other," she says. This helps prolong the warm feelings after all the sweet Valentine's treats they've received from friends have been consumed and the day's excitement has simmered down. Sharing a hearty meal that the family prepares together is a wonderful way to promote bonding with one another. In fact, even cleaning up together can still be a good idea. Wash dirty dishes with the kids by using a gentle yet effective dishwashing soap like Joy. This needn't feel like a chore if everyone is laughing and talking while helping tidy up the kitchen.Â
3. Love Notes
Shirin Vina, a nurse and a mother of two children, has strong feelings about the commercialization of Valentine's Day. "I don't like it at all!" Instead of buying presents or giving store-bought cards for her kids, she writes them handwritten notes. "I don't want a card company telling me what to feel."
She takes the time to craft them personal messages and places them by their beds to find when they wake up. Or she will put the note in their school lunches. "I write about how they make me happy and how much I love them."
How do you share Valentine's traditions for kids? Share your tips in the comments below!
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