10 Simple Ways to Say, I Love You

By: Rondi Hillstrom Davis and Janell Sewall Oakes

We’re teaching our kids to be consumers at an early age. Look at the number of superhero and product endorsement Valentines on the store shelves.

We, as parents, are sucked in by the media to believe that we need the latest, greatest gadget or fad for our kids.

Share your love by giving of your time, not your pocketbook. What can you give your kids instead?

Here are 10 simple suggestions:

1. Slip a handmade valentine or a simple note into your child's lunch box.

2. Take a walk together in the woods or your favorite park.

3. Jot down a line from your favorite poem. Share it with family members.

4. Kiss your kids goodnight.

5. Read a chapter book together.

6. Have family dinnertime together.

7. Turn off the TV. Have a pizza night and rent and watch a movie together.

8. Have a picnic in the park after the soccer game instead of stopping for a fast meal on the way home.

9. Have each family member write down one reason why they appreciate every other family member. Write your reasons on a tag and use ribbon to attach them to a batch of your favorite cookies. Let every family member find his own special cookies.

10. Help your kids write a letter to a family member who lives far away. Write the first few lines of a story and instruct the recipient to write the next, and then return the letter. Your story can continue indefinitely.

This year, instead of store bought Valentines, give the gift of time spent together.

What special Valentine tradition does your family share? Please let us know. Contact us at info@togetherparenting.com

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About the Authors: Rondi Hillstrom Davis and Janell Sewall Oakes are the co-authors of the award-winning book Together: Creating Family Traditions. To check out their website that's jam packed with family ideas, visit

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