We know Valentines day is a commercially driven “holiday”. And we know that nothing about it represents true love. But it is still tough on a teen to feel like she is the only one without a date, or at least without a crush, on February 14. If we don’t teach our teens what true love is, we set them up for failure. Any of us happily married for a while know that the stuff of the average romantic comedy is cutesy fluff that is really about attraction and lust, not about the self-sacrifice that constitutes genuine, lasting relationship. Valentines day with teens is a great opportunity to discuss and live this out. Romance is great. Love is life.
I love Jackie Kendall’s books for practical, funny advice on true love and everything that masquerades itself as the real thing. It is good stuff young people can use.
|Waiting for Your Prince: A Message for the Young Lady in Waiting|
By Jackie Kendall
So what can we do can make the day special in the right ways? ANd more importantly, why do it?
If we want to teach our daughters what true love is, we should teach them to serve others on the day of love. Encourage them – and join in the fun – to use their craft, artistic, baking, or musical talents to bring joy to someone who maybe forgotten this day. Anytime we get the focus off of ourselves and onto others in need of affirmation, we teach and model love for the people around us.
This is best received from Dad. Treat them like the princesses they are. Drug store flowers and truffles are a small investment in helping them believe that they are worth what you – and God – say they are. We exchange cards and homemade treats. After a few years of this you may even find that they pick up the habit and treat you special! And making Valentines with teens helps them practice affirming siblings – sometimes a tough task.
There is no reason to stay home and mope on Valentines day with teens. Extra special events in the arts are usually scheduled for Valentines day and the preceding weekend. Take advantage. Dress up and go out as a family or on a Daddy-daughter date. My husband and I avoid the Valentines crowds anyway and go out the day after Valentines, just the two of us. Let them wear those fancy nail stickers and break out the red lipstick. Student rush tickets and programs like cutureschockmiami.org make prices affordable for students. Plus they can typically buy an accompanying adult ticket for a discounted price. Culture and education disguised as an exciting night out! Ballet, symphony, opera: It helps them learn to seek out new opportunities and try new things. “High culture” can feel intimidating and they should get comfortable with theater and orchestra etiquette.
Make a chocolate feast at home and watch a meaningful “chick flick”. Chocolatecoveredkatie.com has a healthy version of just about every chocolate recipe you can think of. Wear jammies and moisturizing face masks. Romantic movies we like for young teens, ones that are more a bit more realistic and don’t give them a false impression of love, include Up, While You Were Sleeping, Becoming Jane, Miss Potter, The Quiet Man, Roman Holiday, Singin’ In the Rain, and Little Women. Movies we like for older teens include The Vow, An Affair to Remember, The Family Man, and La La Land. Check out Commonsensemedia.org for age appropriateness. Most importantly, use the opportunity ask open ended questions about what they thought and hopefully launch discussion.
My daughters love to cook, bake, and set a fancy table. It is so much fun when they use their talents to create a little in-house romance for my husband and I. And they are great babysitters if the evening ends in a movie. Just remind them to clean up afterward! it is practice for entertaining when they have their own homes, it is service to their family, and it allows them to exercise creativity. Valentines day with teens can be fun for you!
I have all daughters, so there is another point I want to make to parents of girls. How our daughters view this holiday is not a matter to leave to chance. Like everything else, we should be intentional in matters of the heart.
How unfair to their future husbands to allow this sex saturated culture to create ridiculous expectations in them. She may marry the most romantic guy on earth. But more likely she will marry some engineer or accountant who is a wonderful father and a faithful husband but struggles to wine and dine in the daily grind of life. His lack of flowers and surprise nights on the town doesn’t necessarily indicate a lack of love. It may indicate a concern for financial responsibility. She cannot learn to appreciate the gift of a loving spouse if her view of love is narrow and rooted in fantasy novels, Disney channel plots, and raunchy rom coms. Or worse. Teach and model what love in marriage looks like.
My girls have memorized I Corinthians 13 as a part of their Secret Keeper Girl dates with me. Nothing is more powerful than having a concrete definition of love to go back to when you are feeling unsure of what love is. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. I John 3:16.
Sign up to hang out at Never a Doll Moment each week! I never share your information with anyone. Plus, you will receive my free Long Term Homeschool Planning Worksheet to get you started on an amazing homeschool journey!