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Valentine’s Day may be known as the holiday of love, but that doesn’t mean only couples can celebrate. It’s a great excuse to show your teenager how much you care and how much you love them.
It’s not always easy to connect with teens, but that could be because they’re going through something. Now that you’ve gotten through the holidays, take the time to slow down and spend Valentine’s Day with your teenager by using it as an opportunity to reconnect and share the love.
With that in mind, let’s go over a few ideas about what you can do with your teen this Valentine’s Day to make it a holiday to remember.
Go On a “Date”
You can make the day special for your teen in a variety of ways, and they don’t have to be expensive or take a lot of time. You can even go on a “date” with your teen by doing one of their favorite activities with them. Why not see a movie together that you’ll both enjoy? Better yet, go to your favorite coffee shop for a couple of hot chocolates or another “sweet treat” to celebrate the holiday?
If you live in a snowy area of the country, try an outdoor activity like sledding or ice skating, especially if it’s an amicable day. Teens aren’t immune to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and the winter season can get them down. You can help to combat that depression by making sure they get enough sunlight, as well as talking with a doctor about possible treatment options like Trintellix.
Even if you can’t get out and do something together during the day, something as simple as making a home-cooked meal (something they love!) and asking them to help you in the kitchen can be an enjoyable, memory-making experience for both of you. Make this holiday about spending time together doing something special, and it won’t matter what that activity is as long as you’re both invested in that quality time.
Give Them a Gift
It might seem a little cheesy, but your kids are really never too old for a Valentine’s Day gift that’s from the heart! You might even remember giving them stuffed animals or heart-shaped boxes of chocolate when they were younger. While they may have outgrown some of the more traditional gifts associated with the holiday, it doesn’t mean you can’t show your love in different ways.
Something homemade and from the heart never goes out of style, and though your teen might not directly say it, sharing with them how much you love them will be appreciated and reassuring.
You can put together a book for them with a different reason why you love them each week, so they have something to look forward to reading. Or, make some heart-shaped cookies for them to enjoy. Every parent knows teenagers can be bottomless pits at times, so the way to their hearts is usually through their stomachs!
If you really want to get into the spirit of the holiday, you and your teen can make gifts together for their friends and other family members. Again, homemade gifts are always appreciated. So, get those freshly-baked cookies out of the oven and enjoy them at the table while crafting some handmade Valentine’s together.
Keep An Eye Out for Warning Signs
You were a teenager once, so you know it can be tough sometimes. Looking back, you might think about how easy you had it during those years, but when you’re in the thick of it as a teen, things like drama, relationships, and heartbreak can feel overwhelming.
Your teen might not always want to open up about any issues they’re facing, especially if it has to do with friendships or romantic relationships. They might also be struggling due to your own relationship problems if you happen to be going through a separation or divorce. It can change the way they behave, and you might start to notice a “push-pull” in their relationship with you or any other teaching figures in their lives.
If they’re dealing with relationship problems of their own, it can lead to higher levels of stress, which might make them more fatigued, or could even cause them to act more anxious. Paying attention to some of these signs can give you an opening to talk with your teen about what they might be going through. Talk to your teen about heartbreak if they just experienced their first breakup, especially since Valentine’s Day might be extra hard for them if that’s the case. It’s important to remind them that the holiday isn’t just for romantic relationships, but for all kinds of love, and assure them that the right person is out there for them — they have plenty of time for more relationships in the future!
So, whether your Valentine’s Day with your teenager is as simple as a homemade card and a plate of cookies, or you go all out for a “date night,” your kids are never too old for you to show them how much you love them, and what better way to express it than on this holiday of hearts!