People sometimes give Valentine's Day a bad rap. "It's commercialized." "We shouldn't need a special day to say 'I love you.'" "It's only for couples."
But I'm not one bit shy to say I LOVE Valentine's Day.
No, not because of red roses or chocolate or fancy dates (although there's nothing wrong with celebrating that way). But because it's a nudge every year to CONNECT and SHARE LOVE with our people. Hopefully we're doing that all year round, but the truth is sometimes we can get into a rut. We can get complacent with taking care of our relationships. We can get overwhelmed by the busy of life's schedule. We can have great intentions but little follow through.
And then Valentine's Day comes along, and it feels like someone gently taking us by the shoulders and lightly shaking us awake - whispering "C'mon, get up, time to remind your people how much you love them."
I'm grateful for that beautiful reminder every year.
For several years in our home, we've cut out hearts and written little notes or affirmations onto them. One gets taped to each child's bedroom door every day during the month of February. This sweet tradition became wildly popular for great reason when it was shared originally by 'Moms Of Tweens And Teens'.
But this year I found myself wanting to go a little deeper.
So I created 28 writing prompts for the valentines. Within each heart is the beginning of a sentence, that you then finish writing. For example, "One of my favorite things to do together is..." The prompts are meant to spark your thought and make it a little easier to think of and write something that feels personal. They help to draw deeper meaning out of us - in recalling shared experiences, in celebrating unique qualities, in smiling over loving memories, in offering validation that they are known, and in affirming their heart.
The writing prompts are a great tool for making Valentine's Day an opportunity to connect with our kids in a way that strengthens bonds and builds a foundation of love.
Like any tradition, it's best to do what works for YOU! There are 28 hearts with writing prompts that can be printed and cut-out. Use them however best fits YOUR family!
Use one each day of February. Pick your favorite 7, and just do them the week of Valentine's Day. Pick your favorite 14, and do them the first two weeks of February. Pick out just a couple, and give them all at once on Valentine's Day. Pick a few and give them on any random day - because maybe Valentine's Day turned out to be an upside down in your house.
Hang them on bedroom doors. Tape them to the bathroom mirror. Stick them to the wall beside their bed. Let your kiddo add one a day to a poster board or a few pages of copy paper stapled together. Attach some to photos. Use them for lunch/snack notes. Pin them up on one of those cute clotheslines for artwork. Print them in pink, bedazzle them and use every color gel pen to write if you wish. Leave them plain and write in pencil if that's your jam. Don't use the hearts at all and instead use the prompts to write entries in a journal.
Use them with your kids. Use them to connect with your own parents. Use them with your spouse or partner. (There are a few of the prompts that wouldn't work contextually for someone other than your child, but plenty that will work for lots of relationships.)
The point is, these writing prompt valentines are meant to HELP you. They're meant to encourage meaningful connection and relationship growth with your people. Not make your life crazier. So use them however they best support that in your particular house and family.
Happy Valentine's Day my friends. I'm grateful you're here. Now go love on your people!