Love Isn’t Cards and Candy! The Parents’ Guide to Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day

When most kids think of Valentine’s Day, they think of a bag full of candy. 

Modern traditions involve kids bringing a sweet treat and card to give to every single classmate. 

While this is a fun way for kids to celebrate and enjoy the holiday, it does not always seem to reflect the true purpose of Valentine’s Day: love. 

Chances are, your kids are will still want to be involved in the candy swap tradition, but here are some other great ways to celebrate the day with love. 

Share Favorite Qualities 

Much like you share gratitude at Thanksgiving, your family can share their favorite qualities about each other on Valentine’s Day. A dinner is an ideal place for this. Allow each member of the family to share things they love about the others. Emphasize that love is not about appearance and lead by example to share meaningful qualities. 

Favorite Family Activities

This holiday is a great time to spend time together doing something you love. Plan one of your favorite activities that everyone enjoys. Maybe it’s a family hike or a bike ride. Just find something the whole family can enjoy together.

I Feel Loved When….

Create a love jar for each person. In the jar, each family member will place notes about when they feel loved. For example, maybe one of mom’s pieces says “I feel loved when I get breakfast in bed.” This activity is great for understanding how each family member best receives love, so you can pull ideas from their jar when you’re looking to cheer them up. 

Share a Real Love Story 

Valentine’s Day is often filled with unrealistic love stories, with an emphasis on romantic stories. Spend the day sharing some of your real love stories. Maybe it’s the story of how both parents fell in love, or the love they experienced by having children. It could also be about sibling love. Share age appropriate love stories that will get your kids thinking about what love really is.

Candy and cards are fun parts of Valentine’s Day, but they are not the only parts. Aside from the sweet treats and fun, use this holiday to connect as a family. Using the ideas above, you can teach your kids about what love is and what it looks like during this holiday.


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