Five Ways to Tell Your Teen ‘I <3 You’ on Valentine’s Day

valentine's dayRemember when your kids were little and you would make a huge deal out of Valentine’s Day? You’d make a special breakfast and a big valentine with candy.  Maybe you’d go that extra step and hide hearts in your child’s coat pocket, her backpack and her homework folder, where she would find them randomly all day. And of course there was a note in her lunchbox!

What do you do for a teen? Oh the horror if MOM was to do something to celebrate Valentine’s Day. But if you think about it, as our kids become tweens and teens, with all the pressure of school, sports, and friends, isn’t this the time that they need to hear more than ever that we love them unconditionally?

I’m willing to bet that sometimes –even though they would deny it—they might want to be babied now and again.

So I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  Our kids still want us to do some of those fun things to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but just in private.

Here are five ways to show your kids you love ‘em –without embarrassing them.

  1. Go ahead and have a little breakfast fun. Your teen might smile to come out to a balloon tied to her chair, heart-shaped pancakes (tint them pink!) and some cranberry juice.
  2. Surprise her with something to surprise her friends with. (Honestly, I think this is better received by girls than boys, just saying!) Sneak out the night before and pick up a dozen or two valentine treats for her to take to school and share with her friends. I’m a fan of the heart shaped donuts. Who’s going to turn down donuts? And a store-bought treat somehow seems less invasive and mom-dorky than home-baked.
  3. Does he have a valentine? Take your car for a wash, fill the tank and offer him your ride for the evening. Go ahead and give him some cash to pay for the dinner too. He’ll appreciate you helping him celebrate his Valentine’s Day.
  4. One of your kids valentine-less? That can be a big bummer if lots of their buddies have dates. At the same time, they don’t want to go out with their parents.  So embarrassing. Instead of taking them out, bring home their fave restaurant meal and a movie they’ve wanted to see.
  5. We all love presents! Surprise your teen at breakfast or dinner with an iTunes card, or a gift card to a coffee place, juice joint or their favorite fast food restaurant they love to hit up for lunch or after school.

Sometimes we try so hard to not embarrass our kids by being mushy, that we fail to show them tangibly how much we love them. I am a firm believer that we can’t tell — or show — our kids enough that they will always be our valentines. Just do it in private! And whether they are good at saying so or not, I can guarantee they will be touched. And they might even say “I love you, too.” And what more could you want for your Valentine’s Day?

We’d love to hear other ideas you have for celebrating Valentine’s Day for or with your teens and tweens! Let us know in the comments or hit us @tutordotcom hashtag #nevertooold.

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