To be candid, sometimes we are bad examples. We have plenty of funny (and not so funny) stories of how we’ve fallen short. But we’ve learned from those experiences and keep moving forward. We want to become better spouses to each other and better parents to our kids. We want our kids to feel loved and respected.
One of the fun ways we’ve found is to give our kids simple gifts on Valentine’s Day. I get gifts for our three girls, and Megan gets gifts for our son. We started this tradition for several reasons.
First, it’s just fun to get gifts, no matter how simple. For example, Ellie, our 8-year-old, LOVES to get gifts. It’s is fun to watch her open any gift because her reaction is always authentic joy–mostly loud, sometimes intense joy. Gifts certainly speak her love language!
Secondly, we want our kids to feel special–set apart. It’s one way of telling our children that, “This gift is for you, specifically for you.” Our oldest daughter will turn 13 this year. s a father, I’m excited that she is transitioning into the next phase of her life. I want to make sure that she knows that I value her, and she should be confident in who she is becoming. Our hope is that in showing them–in small ways–that we love them, they will grow confident in themselves, God’s love for them, and this ultimately translates to strong relationships with others in the future.
Lastly, it’s easy for us to lump all the kids together and herd them into the activity du jour, but the reality is that each child is an individual and very different from each other. Taking the opportunity of Valentine’s Day is one practical way of showing them that they are individually special. Each small gift we give is picked just for them. One may receive a small box of Legos, another a new watercolor set, and another a new novel. It isn’t about the amount of money we spend. Just some flowers from Kroger, a $2 box of cheap chocolate from Target, and a small gift that appeals to their interests. We don’t spend more than $15 max per child. It isn’t about big and fancy. It’s about letting them know that we are listening, we value them, and that we love them.