Five Special Ways To Celebrate Valentine’s Day As A Family

Incorporate The Five Ways To Show Love:

There’s a theory that every person has their own love language. The interesting thing is how you show love and how you want to be shown love can be two different things.

The five ways are gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. Some of these can be done in the same activity. Try to incorporate all five types in the day or evening you plan together.

Not only will everyone feel appreciated, it will also help you discern what each family member values the most in terms of affection.

  • Gifts: These don’t have to be store-bought. Set up the dinner table with craft supplies, and get creative with homemade gifts. Make sure you have your kids’ favorite colors, fabrics, and tools available. Make melted crayons using heart-shaped molds. Create calming bottles with glitter and sand. Decorate mugs with your names on them. The DIY options are endless.
  • Words of Affirmation: Have everyone at dinner say something they love or appreciate about every person at the table. It can be as simple as “I love the way you hug me” or “I love how you help me with my homework.” Let them know ahead of time that that’s what you’ll be doing so no one feels flustered or put on the spot. Words of affirmation don’t have to be verbal, either. Write out your love for them, by tucking a sweet note into their backpack to read the next time they go to school, or slipping a note under their bedroom door to read when they wake up. And remember that even if your child can’t say the words aloud or doesn’t know how to express his love, you can see it in his actions — no matter how small.
  • Acts of Service: Take over a chore that your oldest can’t stand doing. As your kids play outside in the cold, prepare hot chocolate without asking (with extra marshmallows). Fix the broken train that your youngest has been sad about for days.
  • Quality Time: Spend time together going through photo albums and reminiscing. Play a board game, or conduct an at-home science experiment. Cook dinner together.
  • Physical Touch: Cuddle on the couch while you read bedtime stories or watch a movie. Hug them extra-tightly when they’re just randomly passing by. Rub their backs as they’re doing the dishes.

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Play Get To Know You Games:

Ha! This is silly. You already know your family in and out, upside down and right-side-up! Isn’t this type of game just for the first day of school, or family reunions with relatives you don’t know?

While this could be a no-brainer (of course your child’s favorite color is pink!), the answers you get depend on the types of questions you ask. Think along the style of “Would you rather?” where you pit two options against each other. They can be physical in nature: would you rather be very strong or very fast? They can be magical: would you rather be able to fly or be able to turn anything to ice? They can be wishful: would you rather live in space or at the bottom of the sea?

Come up with your own, or troll the internet — it’s overflowing with family-friendly options for this game. Sometimes in asking crazy outrageous questions, you get a clearer picture of what someone values.

C. Dixon likes to read, sing, eat, drink, write, and other verbs. She enjoys cavorting around the country to visit loved ones and experience new places, but especially likes to be at home with her husband, son, and dog.
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