Ask your toddler, tween or high schooler what pops into their head when they think of Valentines day? You might get answers like: candy, chocolate, balloons, boyfriends, couples, girlfriends, gifts, kissing, stuffed animals, romantic date, holding hands etc…. This is probably what I would have said back in the day.
The media, society and peer pressure are doing a great job at shaping the thoughts of our children in all aspects of life. As a kid, I don’t ever recall thinking, “Valentines day is a day to serve and love those who need some extra TLC or a day for me to remember all of the ways God loves me. Don’t worry I am not opposed to all the wonderful cute things that Valentines entails, in fact, I used some of them below in our Acts of Love V-day Countdown.
Well, the good news is your not too late to impress upon your child’s (it doesn’t matter if they are in highschool) heart another perspective, one that doesn’t scream “your a loser if you don’t have a date tonight.” I am not saying it’s wrong that kids think Valentines day is a day of romance but it is a one-sided view that definitely needs a good dose of perspective.
We started this tradition in our home last year in hopes that our children would see that Valentines can also be a day of kindness for loved ones, friends and even strangers and not just a romantic holiday. Reminding them “ how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Gods love is for them” Ephesians 3:18.
As you read along, you may think “so cheesy, my junior higher will gag.” Don’t worry if there ever is a time to be cheesy, Valentines day is the day! I used to teach junior high and high school students and I used a sticker chart for them. When I mentioned it to my colleagues they laughed and thought it would never work because it was too elementary and cheesy, on the contrary they LOVED it and it worked like a charm. Either way whether it’s this or another means, do remind them that Valentines day is a day of love and love is all encompassing. It’s not just limited to the boy or girl you like or the day you get lots of sugar from friends. Well, actually I still think it’s a day I get lots of sugar from my man!
The week of V-day, start your Acts of Love Countdown. Six days prior to V-day write all of your family members names on a sheet of paper, fold it up and drop it in a box. On the 6th day, draw a name to decide whose turn it is to write a coupon for. Everyone in the family writes an Act of Love Coupon for the persons whose name was drawn. Then put all the coupons in the gift box for them to open up on the 5th day. On the 5th day we draw another name, write them coupons and they open it up on the 4th day and so on…..
Download your coupons below and start the fun.
Read 1John 4:19- We love because He first loved us. Talk about all the ways God loves us and have them share how God has personally showed them. Share with them how you love them in specific ways. For example, I love when you smile, because it lights up the room.
When filling out your act of love coupon, get creative and think about what that person would enjoy receiving, that can’t be bought in a store. See below for suggestions.
Each day one family member gets a turn to open up all of their Acts of Love Coupons. The picture above are TP rolls turned into V-day gift boxes, tutorial here. You can also use balloons and attach the Acts of Love coupon to the balloon. (see picture on right)
I love to hear them giggle with glee!
Ideas for Coupons:
- Staying up past bedtime
- You don’t have to brush your teeth today (I am totally joking with this one)
- Movie & Popcorn Night -You pick the movie
- Play outside for an extra 30minutes
- I will make your bed for you
- At dinner time eat dessert first
- I will clean off the dinner table & sweep
- I will make you your favorite dessert
- Wash dishes after dinner
- For the adults: 2hrs of free time to use however you wish even when it’s my turn to bathe the kids.
- 20 minute massage
- Free car wash
- Saturday morning stay in bed and I will get up with the kids.
Download and print coupons by clicking on link below: Acts of Love Coupons Printable