Flipping through the articles the newspaper carried this morning on Valentine’s Day left me disheartened. Accounts of singles hooking up on dating apps, just so they wouldn’t be the only ones among their friends who were dateless and sans gifts on V-day reflects the shallow consumerism, this day of pure love has become associated with.
If you are a parent of a little one who is intrigued by all the hearts and mush surrounding this day, it’s really not the right message to give by being disdainful and brushing this day aside altogether. Instead use this day, as a foundation to teach your children what lasting relationships and true love is all about. Here are 9 ways you can celebrate Valentine’s Day with your little angels and teach them the essence of true love.
1. Learning by example: In this era of short lived relationships, if in your childhood, you have been witness to a meaningful relationship between your parents, as an adult you are more likely to choose one that lasts. Children are perceptive and if they have been witness to the inseparable bond between their parents, they have a firsthand experience of what true love feels like.
2. DIY gifts: Enlist your children to help you in making handmade gifts like cards or a scrap book of precious memories. You can take them through the special moments in your life and let them revel in the warmth of your love.
3. Love tales: Share with your cherubs, a children friendly story of your love. It could include how you met, what qualities you love best about your spouse that make your relationship wonderful. Use this as an opportunity to ask your little one’s grandparents to share their stories too. This way, children can learn about true love and relationships that last a lifetime.
4. Family time: Having a family celebration like a house party, a picnic, watching a family entertainer or a short day trip is a great idea too. Get your kids to pitch into the preparations like heart shaped sandwiches or blowing balloons.
5. The fitness pledge: No I’m not crazy. I really mean it. A great way to take the fitness pledge would have been to take your children to the Max Bupa- “Walk for life” marathon this Valentine’s day if you’re a Delhite! What better way to teach your children about the importance of loving yourself and your family enough to make fitness a part of your everyday life. After all isn’t true love all about being there for your loved ones forever! What best way to accomplish this, than by taking the fitness pledge with your children?
6. Bonding over baking: Another unique way to celebrate this day is bonding over baking a heart shaped cake. Mum, Dad and baby- all get to have fun! Donning aprons everyone paints the kitchen red with easy pre-mixed cake batter set to bake in a heart shaped mould. Baby can help Dad decorate the cake for mum with gems :) :) :) Yum!
7. Spread the love: Love is not just about happily ever after with your soul mate. Its essence lies in kindness and sacrifice. You can ask your little ones to give up toys they don’t use anymore and spread the love to other children who lack the privileges they have. Make it a point to give away some of your stuff, spread kindness and earn good Karma.
8. Re-kindle the love for poetry: You don’t have to be a great poet for this one. Just Google a simple poem- it could be as easy as “Roses are red” and get your child to help you write it on a card or a sheet of decorative paper. Turn this into a fun word recognition exercise by handing them old newspapers, getting them to cut the letters out and stick them. Surprise your partner with this cute poem that your darling kiddo helped you write.
9. Love and laughter: If love is all about having a great time then surely laughter has to play a very important role. Seek out things that make you laugh as a family- cartoons, a particular comic strip or TV show. You could also share entertaining anecdotes with your children and fill your house with love and laughter on this day of love!