Valentine at home
VALENTINE’S Day is not just for lovers, it is a day to share with people we love, especially the loves of our lives, our children. By spending the day doing activities specific to your child’s dominant sense, you will be able to demonstrate clearly how much you love them.
Visual children will love all the decorations attached to Valentine’s Day. The making, choosing, giving and receiving of cards will be magic to them. They will take enormous pride in making each card just right, and be fussy about the colour, shape and amount of sparkle each card has.
Splurge on some heart-covered ribbons, or a red T-shirt to show the festive spirit; let them help make heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast, or use the red tablecloth for dinner. Use cookie cutters to make heartshaped sandwiches.
Tactile children will love the idea of making something: a cake they can help mix, and cover with chocolate chips; cookies they can roll or cut out and decorate.
Allow the child to pick out some flowers from the florist, or let them pick the flowers themselves. Blowing up balloons and twisting them into heart shapes will be fun, so will grand gestures, like putting Post-It notes on the wall saying “I Love U,” or outlining hearts on the shower door.
Involve your tactile child, and make the activity as large and physical as possible. Tactile children are often larger-than-life in their emotions. Expect an enormous amount of hugging.
For the auditory child, rhymes, rhymes and more rhymes, poetry and silly verses.
Create a family tradition of the auditory child making a rhyme about every person they care for and at dinner, have them perform their works of art.
Record the event, and send a DVD to Grandma and others not able to be there.
Auditory children love music, so they will love a playlist of their favourite songs, and it can serve as a great time capsule of their auditory tastes and how they have changed.
Your auditory child can send out recorded Valentine’s cards, or make Valentine’s Day instruments. Things like a cardboard guitar made from a heart-shaped gift box, or shakers made from “I love you” sweets all help make Valentine’s Day fun and memorable.
Taste and smell children are all about the love. They love dearly and completely. They also get hurt feelings very easily, so be sure to express Valentine’s Day as a family and friend affair, not just about whether they have an admirer or not.
Make Valentine’s Day about spending time with lots of people that they love, visit Grandma, have afternoon tea with their friends and make a special family Valentine’s dinner.
Let young and old be part of the day’s events – make cookies, cards and turn Valentine’s Day into a “love all day” event.
We are all so lucky to have our children in our lives, celebrate your family, and not just your partner during this loving holiday. – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Priscilla Dunstan is a behavioural researcher and creator of the Dunstan Baby Language and author of Child Sense and Calm the Crying.