“I don’t want my children to equate Valentine’s Day only to having a boyfriend or a girlfriend. I want them to create moments of love, whether it’s with their family, their friends or in a relationship,” says Simona Noce Wright, co-founder of District Motherhued, a community for millennial moms of color.
You can do this by modeling physical affection, quality time, random acts of kindness and effective communication, which older generations didn’t necessarily do, Brown says. “We wouldn’t have certain conversations or be overly affectionate, but I think that does children a disservice, because then they don’t know what healthy relationships look like.”
Instead of (or in addition to) scheduling a dinner date or buying chocolates and flowers for your significant other, consider showering your children with a dose of extra attention this Valentine’s Day. Here are ways you can rethink your celebration at home with your kids, whether they’re toddlers, school-aged children or young adults.
Share your love story
Play themed games
Have a movie night
Create an at-home restaurant
Focus on desserts
Spread the love
In lieu of one elaborate celebration, Brown suggests planning a “five-days-of-love countdown” centered around Gary Chapman’s five love languages. She says these “smaller, more intimate” activities could include an at-home spa experience to represent physical touch, a scavenger hunt with notes for words of affirmation, meal preparation for an act of service and a day (or a few hours) without electronics for quality time. On the last day, Valentine’s Day, have a gift exchange.