Valentines DayWhile many an adult is either filled with hope or angst in anticipation of Valentine's Day, it is easy to forget that children may also feel nervous about this day. Some schools have done away with the practice of handing out valentines; other schools allow it; and some schools actively encourage it. If you are a parent, you may be thinking that this day is no big deal if your children are young or bracing yourself if your children are close to or in their teenage years.

Remind them that you love them.

Some kids will push you away if you try to hug them or seem unhappy if you are being "mushy" but all children want the love of their parents. Take a moment on or around Valentine's Day to tell your child how much you love him or her. Even kids who pretend they don't care need to hear it.

Be available to talk with them.

If you can be open to discussions of romantic triumph or disappointment, you will deepen your relationship with your child. Try to remember that not getting a valentine from someone you really like is heartbreaking, so help your child deal with the sadness by taking it seriously. You shouldn’t belittle any sadness your child feels but you do need to remind them that life goes on.

Model other ways to show love.

Heartbreak or no, you can use Valentine's Day as a time to show your child that there are many ways that people demonstrate kindness. You can help your child send letters to grandparents and other family members. You can also go outside of your family circle and help your child send a letter or put together a care package for someone who is sick or for a soldier overseas.


Photo Credit: danmoyle