The Tipping List
Tell Your Children You Love Them!
Showing the love on Valentine’s Day and beyond
-Susan M. Heim, Susanheim.blogspot.com
Valentine’s Day is for sweethearts, but it’s important not to forget to show some love to the rest of the family! Of course, I recommend that you do this every day, not just on Valentine’s Day, but use that day this year to launch a new family tradition or a special way of showing your love. Somehow, buying your children a new video game or a stuffed animal just doesn’t say “I love you” to me. You need to be more creative! If, like me, you’re creatively challenged, then pick up a copy of the book, 101 Ways to Tell Your Child “I Love You,“ by Vicki Lansky. She has some terrific ideas for showing your love in addition to lots of hugs and kisses. Following are ten of her ideas. But if one of these doesn’t make you say “I’ve got to do this!” then please read the 91 other ways she’s come up with because one of them is guaranteed to resonate with you.
1. Leave heart drawings or love messages or “with love from …” notes in unusual places such as on the bathroom mirror, the front door, on cereal boxes … even on shoes or boots.
2. Mail a letter or card to your child, even if you haven’t gone away. Getting mail is a special event for all children, but especially so at holiday times or when they are sick.
3. Decorate a paper or vinyl placemat with something personalized like “Eating Spot of the Best Four-Year-Old in the Whole World.”
4. Hang one or more red paper hearts by a string or ribbon in your child’s doorway for him or her to walk through as a good-morning surprise or when getting up from a nap.
5. Ask your child to pick a number from 1 to 10. Then deliver that many kisses!
6. Do you have an “I Love You Up to Here” chart? It’s a great way to mark your child’s height periodically, on a door frame or a large piece of poster board.
7. Create a big family-group hug as one of your traditions where everyone huddles together and shares hugs and kisses.
8. Bring home the gift of a fresh flower for your child, or even a whole bouquet!
9. Decorate a little bag of loving surprises and put it near your child’s bed to be found in the morning. You might include a little chalkboard, a small book, or maybe even a piece of fruit.
10. Fill a large jar with nuts, add a ribbon to make it festive, and attach a note that says, “I’m nuts about you.”
The 101 ideas in this book are great for showing your children you love them … or will inspire you to come up with some unique ways of your own! You can find 101 Ways to Tell Your Child “I Love You” at practicalparenting.com.
Susan M. Heim is a mother of four and a parenting author. Her most recent books include Boosting Your Baby’s Brain Power and the upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More. You can read more of Susan’s parenting wisdom at susanheim.blogspot.com.