One thing I remember about February fourteenth, was that my parents always showed me some special love and attention on that day, even when I was in high school. I’d receive a note, candy bar, or intentional words of affection or affirmation that morning.
At my high school, all eyes were on the knock at the door during sixth hour, when the single carnations, purchased at lunch time by friends or admirers, would be delivered into the happy hands of their receivers. Any anxiety or fear of missing out feelings I had during sixth hour were reduced by the early morning encouragement from my mom and dad.
Today’s online informational Valentine’s day trend reads that the large majority of teenagers find the Valentine’s Day stressful and anxiety producing. Unmet expectations, Romantic comparisons on social media, and the everyday wonder of one’s place in the world, can leave a guy or gal feeling invisible and longing to be highlighted by someone. What can you do to appreciation and affirm your son and/or daughter on Valentine’s Day?
Show Your Teen Your Appreciation
Write a Note. I want you to know how much notes amplify your message. Teen girls keep notes. I promise they do. They read them when you aren’t looking. They read them when they feel lost or abandoned. Notes can say what we often stumble over in face to face conversations. They cut to the heart of important matters. I’m a big believer in letting kids know how much you believe in the person they are becoming.
Feeling disconnected from your teen and don’t know how to be positive? Be honest, and write that you and your teen have been in a slump, but that you know you two will work through it and that you aren’t giving up or going anywhere. Share a feel good memory in the card, and how you know more of those moments are coming.
Get a small gift. Candy. It’s simple and works. Know and get their favorite. It makes them feel seen and sends the message you care to know them.
A flower is a bonus. Not many girls will say “no” to the message of special in a rose, even if it is only from dad or mom. Teens often don’t receive flowers until much later from a significant other. Why not be the person to show them what they deserve now and in the future?
Spend the time. Often, the best gift we can provide is our time. Remind them that they are important and valued. It doesn’t have to be tons of time or something that leads you spending a lot of money. You can do something simple. Bake together, Play a video game, watch some interesting youtubes or a movie, play board games, or offer go watch a friend’s sporting event.
In the holiday hype, most teens will have forgotten that the more simple option of the day is to celebrate the people who make them feel special. Ignore the consumer pressures of Valentine’s day, but highlight the heart of it in your home. Small gestures build strong bridges. As a parent, you win when a son or daughter feels seen.
Director of Church Engagement