Recently I was astonished to come across a 2013 statistic on how much money Americans spend on Valentine's Day. Consumers spend nearly $2 billion on flowers and $2 billon on candy each Valentine's Day according to CNN's library statistics. Wow- that's a lot of love. And a lot of money.
While gifts are wonderful, money doesn't equal love and neither does love equal money. There are many ways your kids can see love in action and today I thought we could explore 10 ways to show love to your kids without spending money.
1. Give the gift of words.
Tell them you love them, whisper in their ears, craft your encouraging words tenderly.
2. Give confidence through an encouraging note.
We spend so much time correcting our children; sometimes an exercise of writing down 5 things we love about them is just what we need to refocus on the positive.
3. Draw a picture.
A picture is worth a thousand words and even if you're not an artist, children love to see the "art" of their parents.
4. Give them a coupon to cash in for chores.
While I'm a big fan of all children helping in the home, a great "free" break is issuing a coupon for mom or dad to do the chore in place of the child. They love this- trust me!
5. Make a creative lunch.
Use chocolate chips to add a smile. Garnish a pb&j with a raisin face. Use cookie cutters to make sandwiches in the shape of hearts.
6. Make up a silly song with their name in it.
Little ones especially love this and they never forget it. Sing it at a routine time each day- bath time, teethbrushing time, or hairbrushing time.
7. Lay a mint or small sweet treat that you have on hand their pillow before bed at night.
This sweet surprise can be eaten during reading time; I'm sure it goes without saying that brushing teeth is then necessary.
8. Look children in the eyes and listen. Purposefully.
The hurry and scurry of a day can make us forget the most important parts of life. Slowing down long enough to smile and listen, engaging in conversation with kids, shows love like nothing else.
9. Give the gift of time.
Sit down and plan a family game night. Work on the summer vacation plan together. Children love to be included in planning and when time is taken to include them, they feel loved.
10. Hug and kiss them like there's no tomorrow.
Because the reality is, none of us control the number of heartbeats we receive in life.
Which of the above ways to show your children love without spending money is your favorite? Or do you have another you'd like to share with us?