Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love and show your love for those special people in your life. Children, who may not be able to fully grasp that meaning and sentiment, may be somewhat uncertain on this day. They may be looking forward to a Valentine's Day celebration at school, but along with the excitement of receiving cards and candies can come some jittery, nervous feelings as well: how many Valentine's will they get? Will all their friends give them a card? Will they feel left out?
As a parent, you always want to reassure and ease your child’s fears and concerns. If your child is feeling a little uneasy about this upcoming holiday take a proactive approach by making her feel special and loved. Here are a few different ways to express your love for your youngster, celebrate the holiday, and ease her fears of what may or may not happen at school.
Rise and Shine
Make this day anxiety free by planning a special morning before he begins his school day. Leave a treat on his nightstand—either a new stuffed toy or a homemade card reminding him how very important he is to you. A possible choice for a card could be a coupon book filled with coupons for fun activities your child enjoys. Coupons could include things such as a movie night, family night at his or her favorite restaurant, game day, a trip to one of their favorite places, etc.
Follow this rise and shine surprise with a nice family breakfast of heart shaped pancakes, waffles or toast. Talk to your child about her upcoming day. Remind her that she is important to your family and loved by many people. Ask her if she would like to use one of the coupons from the card that evening, and give your child something to look forward to. Your goal is to alleviate concerns about the events of the school day, and refocus your child's attention on the events taking place at home. Pack your child a a special lunch that day, and include another personal note from you.
Valentine's Celebrations at Home
Consider throwing a Valentine's Day party at home for your child's close friends. This will take your child's mind off of the nervous feelings they may have about Valentine's Day. Brainstorm party activity ideas with your child, such as a Valentine's Scavenger Hunt, cookie decorating, pin the arrow on the cupid, etc. Simplicity always makes good memories.
The School Day
Another way that you can stay proactive in your child’s world on this holiday would be by participating in the Valentine Celebration that is taking place in his classroom. If you are able to make arrangements to attend the celebration, prepare a craft or activity, with the help of your child, for the class to complete. Talk to your child’s teacher in advance. Prepare all materials ahead of time so that it does not become extra work for the teacher to gather supplies. Have step by step directions typed and photocopied, and have a model of a completed craft so that the students will know what the end product should look like. Have your child help you lead the class in the activity.
If you are unable to attend the celebration, talk to your child’s teacher and send in all materials for the craft, teach your child how to make the craft, and ask if your child can help the teacher complete the activity.
The goal of these activities is to take the focus away from your child’s nerves, fears and jitters (things that unfortunately are beyond your control as a parent) and direct it towards more confidence-building tasks. Do what comes natural, parents: show your love!