As my daughter got closer to school age, I started to notice more and more stories of bullying and child suicide in the news. Kids are picked on for how they look, who they are, and even for medical conditions.
When we were kids, you might get picked on during school, but at least when you were home the worst thing that could happen was a phone call. Now, with social media, the bullying can feel like it never stops.
For these reasons and more, my husband and I take every opportunity to remind our daughter that she’s safe and loved at home. When I saw the “heart attack” tradition a few Valentine’s Days ago, I knew this would be the perfect way to remind our daughter how much she’s loved.
Creating Your Own Tradition
On the last day of January, we cut out a giant heart and let our daughter decorate it. Then we hang it on her bedroom door and decorate the rest of the house for Valentine’s Day. The fun starts when she wakes up on February 1 to find an additional smaller heart on her door.
Each morning, we add a new heart with a positive affirmation written on it. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Uplifting name acronym (OLIVIA: O-outgoing, L-loving, I-inquisitive, etc.) This is a fun way to expose your child to new words.
- We love you!
- You’re a great problem solver.
- Thanks for being a helpful neighbor.
- You’re so responsible.
- We love your energy!
- February 14 – Happy Valentine’s Day!
If you can write your note about something specific that happened that day, even better. For instance, one evening, our daughter picked up trash from our front yard and the neighbors’ yards, too. The next morning, her love note said “Thanks for being a helpful neighbor.” When the affirmation is tied to something specific, it becomes even more meaningful.
A Few Tips to Get You Started
We try to keep the love notes short and sweet. We also like to decorate each heart. For example, “We love your energy” has lightning bolts coming off of it.
You don’t have to do all the work yourself. If you have multiple kids, involve them by making valentine love notes for each other. Whether your family is down the street or across the world, invite them to send you a love note to add to your child’s door. Your kids will love seeing a sweet message from a special family member.
Expanding the Tradition
The love notes aren’t only for your kids. Some years, my husband and I do this for each other, too. It’s a fun way to remember to appreciate each other. Plus, who doesn’t like waking up to a love note!
You could even pick a special neighbor, friend, or family who lives near by and decorate their front door with positive affirmations. (Make sure you use tape that doesn’t peel off their paint.) You could even include a few of their favorite treats in a gift bag on their step. Involve your whole family in this activity.
Happy Valentine’s Day!