Valen­tine at home

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FAMILY - By PRISCILLA DUNSTAN

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.

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