Happy “Day-Before-Valentine’s-Day.” Do you tell your children often how much you love them? Do you take time to go beyond words to show it? Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and why not make it a Valentine’s WEEK by trying this every morning this week and see if you notice any differences in your children and their behavior. I’m talking about one of the best ways that we can show our children we love them and it requires no words, gifts, or money. I call it the “10-Minute Morning Check-In” and when implemented successfully, you will fill your child up with love to keep them encouraged for the rest of the day. Watch this video below to learn more about how to do this, along with several other tips for bonding with your children.
And just in time for Valentine’s Day, I’ve been offering my Face Book Fans, quick and easy tips for demonstrating love to their children. I offered fourteen of them, one for everyday in February leading up to Valentine’s Day. Here they are for you to enjoy, just in case you’re looking for some more ideas on demonstrating love to your child this week.
Using a family meeting, have everyone create a craft project that represents love to them. Provide a wide selection of construction paper and craft supplies and allow your children to create whatever comes to mind. Put the creations on display for everyone to see and enjoy, and photograph them to look at for many years to come.
Create teachable moments with your children when they are open to learning, by explaining (and demonstrating) what you do to love yourself. This might be a tough exercise for some, but teaching a child to love himself starts by setting a healthy example he can see.
Compose a poem about your child or describing how much you love her. Print it off on special preprinted paper with a border that can be purchased at office supply stores. Frame it and hang it on your child’s bedroom wall. You could even include the child’s picture or her foot or handprints if you had them done earlier. Sign it and read it to her nightly.
Have a movie night with your child(ren), complete with big pillows to snuggle up with and a big bowl of popcorn. The one difference in making this night special is that the movie being featured will be the home movies you have of your child(ren)!
When your child approaches you to get your attention, stop what you’re doing, get to your child’s eye level, silence your mind-chatter, and remain completely quiet while your child speaks. Nothing feels better to a child (or an adult) who has something to say, than the sense of getting 100% of that adults attention in that moment.
It might be a little late for this one, but consider helping your child plan a V-Day party with all of her friends. For one activity at the party, provide a personalized mailbox (or bag) for each child. On blank slips of paper, have each child write down words that describe what they like about each of the other kids, one child per slip of paper. They will deposit them in each others’ mailboxes.
Use the ENCOURAGEMENT FEAST exercise with your family. Each person takes a turn in the center of the circle, facing each person who states one thing they love about the person in the center. Before the person in the center steps back into the circle, they must state one thing they love about them self. Then someone else steps into the circle. See the video http://bit.ly/xsueNx.
Every Sunday night, schedule a date with each of your children for the week to come. Put it on your calendar and tell your child so they will have something to look forward to. Scheduling in these dates ahead of time ensures they will happen. Then everything else that is less important can fill in around them. Why not schedule a date with your significant other as well?
Take a picture of you and your child, frame it, and then give it to your child to put in his or her room on the dresser or night table. If you have more than one child, create one for each of them. For an older child, put a picture of the two of you in a locket that the child can wear. This will also help calm a child who feels anxious when being away from the parent.
Find a child’s illustrated book that sends a message of love and commit to reading it to your children every night, leading up to Valentine’s Day. My favorite is the book LOVE YOU FOREVER by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Sheila McGraw. It sends the message that I’ll always love you unconditionally, no matter how you behave and well into your adult years.
Teach your children about love by expressing love for your significant other in front of them. Children who have healthy models of affection around them are likely to recreate in their adulthood what they witnessed as children. When your significant other and you argue or fight in front of the children, be sure and let the kids see the two of you makeup.
Toddlers to teens love to be surprised. Hide a small valentine, an encouraging note, or a small valentine chocolate somewhere for them to find each day leading up to Valentine’s Day. Get creative and mix it up. You could also leave a note each day in one place that contains clues to helping them find what you’ve hidden.
You’ll notice that there are only 12 here on this blog post. Want the last 2? You’ll have to LIKE me at http://www.facebook.com/Cooperativekids.com to get the last two! Need some parenting help? I'm now offering online parent coaching for a limited time.
Bill Corbett is the author of the award-winning parenting book series, LOVE, LIMITS, & LESSONS: A PARENT'S GUIDE TO RAISING COOPERATIVE KIDS (in English and in Spanish) and the executive producer and host of the public access television show CREATING COOPERATIVE KIDS. The first in his book series recently received the PARENT TESTED/PARENT APPROVED seal of approval for outstanding family products. As a member of the American Psychological Association and the North American Society for Adlerian Pscyhology, Bill provides parent coaching and keynote presentations to parent and professional audiences across the country. He sits on the board of the Network Against Domestic Abuse, the Resource Advisory Committee for Attachment Parenting International, and the management team of the Springfield Parent Academy. Bill's practical experience comes as a father of 3 grown children, a grandfather of two, and a stepdad to three. He is a Western Massachusetts native and resides with his wife Elizabeth and teenage step daughter Olivia in Enfield, CT. Get more parenting help by subscribing to Bill Corbett's own blog.