Valentine's Day traditions to start with your children
Even though Valentine's Day is meant for lovers, now that you're a parent, this mushy-gushy holiday has an entirely new meaning. Take advantage of Valentine's Day to create some fun, special traditions as a family that your children will remember forever.
Start the day with Valentine love... for their tummies!
Whether Valentine's Day falls on a school day or the weekend, a great (and delicious!) way to start the day with your smallest Valentines is with a special breakfast. Kids feel extra special when they are being served something just for them. Decorate the kitchen table the night before (after they go to bed) with decorative plates, napkins, cups and decorations, and then plan a menu that everyone will love. You can dye the waffle batter pink with food coloring or berry juice and top them with whipped cream and strawberries — or put a Valentine twist on whatever your family's favorite breakfast may be.
Bows, ruffles and hearts galore
Moms of little girls will especially be into this fun Valentine's Day tradition. Surprise them on Valentine's morning with a Valentine's Day outfit. Many retail stores carry cute Valentine's Day-themed clothes for children, so it's easy to find something that your daughter will love.
Depending on her tastes — and your budget — you can go crazy with a whole new outfit from head-to-toe, decked out in hearts, glitter and ruffles. Or, tone it down a bit and surprise your kids with a sweet new Valentine's Day T-shirt that they'll be proud to show off at school on Valentine's Day. Moms of boys, you can get in on this tradition too — there are lots of cool boy-themed Valentine's Day shirts to choose from.
Spread the Valentine's Day love
If one of the most important things to you as a parent is to teach your children the importance of giving back, then use Valentine's Day as another great reason to spread some love. There are countless ways that you can create a family Valentine's Day tradition around the idea of giving back — create homemade Valentine's Day cards for a local nursing home or for patients at the nearest children's hospital. Your family can make cookies and cards for an elderly neighbor whose grandchildren live far away. Whatever you choose, know that spreading the love with others on Valentine's Day will surely fill all of your hearts with the gift of giving.
Go on a family date
We realize that what you might actually want to do on Valentine's Day is go on a romantic date at one of your favorite, grown-up restaurants with your significant other. However, considering you don't have a babysitter lined up and the last time you tried on your little black dress you couldn't get the zipper up all the way, maybe you should think about changing your Valentine's Day expectations.
Having kids doesn't mean that you have to spend Valentine's Day at home, either. Make it more fun for everyone by planning a family date. Have fun with it by getting dressed up in a special outfit (even if this means a superhero costume for your 4-year-old), bring flowers for everyone, pick somewhere special for dinner and just enjoy being together on Valentine's Day.