While Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate your partner, it can also very easily be a time of bonding for the whole family. What better holiday than the one of love to remind each family member how valuable they are, and to be intentional about showing love to others. Here at Capital Choice Counselling Ottawa, we’ve put together a list of simple ways in which you can include the whole family in the celebration of what holds you together: love.
Suggestions for a Family Friendly Valentine’s:
1. Have a family breakfast together: Often the mornings are so busy, it can be easy to scarf down a bagel as you run out the door. Yet, as Dr. Stan Tatkin points out in his book Wired for Love, our rituals of leaving and saying hello are important times to connect. Make it Valentine’s themed by eating strawberries or something equally sweet.
2. Send a quick note and/or Valentine in each of your kid’s lunch boxes reminding them how much they are loved, and naming in particular something you really appreciate about them.
3. Pick something that you can do as a family to show love to others—it might be shoveling the neighbour’s driveways, leaving them heart-shaped cookies, or have each family member chose someone that they will be intentionally kind too. Maybe especially someone that they would not regularly go out of their way for.
4. If appropriate, tell your love story to your kids—they might protest, but knowing that their parents are secure and committed to one another creates a sense of safety and security. Speak kindly about one another, and maybe throw in a kiss or two. Modelling healthy love and respect is an awesome Valentine’s gift that you can give your kids.
5. Lastly, keep that date night with your partner. This is part of keeping the love story going, investing in your relationship with your spouse and letting them know that they come first. It doesn’t have to be on Valentine’s Day, but talk together and find a way to let the holiday help you cherish each other.
Written By: Erika DeSchiffart, Psychotherapist with Capital Choice Counselling Group.