Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Valentine’s Day Family Celebration: Scheduling it, Planning it, and the Do’s and the Don’ts

Ivana Pejakovic, B.Sc., MA

Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to show your family (children & partner) how much you love them, care for them, and appreciate them. Everyone wants to be remembered and treasured on this day and your family is the perfect place to start.

Schedule it! Plan it! Organize it!

Let each family member know you intend to celebrate a Family Valentine’s Day and that their participation and attendance is very important to you. So, pick a day that is convenient for everyone. This may be a bit harder with older teens who have personal schedules and priorities, but nonetheless, insist this is an important celebration and that it wouldn’t be the same without them. (They might be testing you to see if you are willing to hold a family party without them).

Scheduling the party is the first step to committing yourself to it. Planning the party is the second step. Without planning it, the party may become ‘just another great idea’ that never materialized. Organizing the party is the third step. Get the family members involved in organizing their own party and making some of the decisions. Scheduling the party but not following up with it, may lead your teens to say “Well...I guess I’m just not that important. Mom/dad preferred to work [or do something else] to spending time with me.” Also, keep in mind what you hope to teach your teens about commitment.

If you are planning the entire day (or just an evening), here are a few activities to plan. Remember, no one is ever too old to have fun.

1. Plan out menus for breakfast, lunch, and/ or dinner
2. Go out for a meal to a place you haven’t tried before
3. Prepare meals together
4. Have a fun family discussion
5. Bake a favourite cake in the shape of a heart
6. Book a ski trip
7. Go on a road trip
8. Go out for a trail walk (include family pets if possible)
9. Play the family’s favourite board game (e.g., BINGO, Life, Monopoly)
10. Watch a movie

Do’s and Don’ts

Remember this is a family mini-party, not a good opportunity to bring up regular family disputes or an opportunity to lecture your kids/ teens on the usual topics. This is a party. Loosen up. Have fun. Enjoy your family.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts on how to celebrate a FUN and CARING family Valentine’s Day.

DO
...keep the atmosphere friendly and light
...bring up the good memories
...have a positive attitude and use positive language
...consider this to be worth your time
...laugh
...tell the family how much you appreciate them
...treat new experiences with an optimistic outlook
...enjoy yourself and keep the conversation positive and upbeat
...include everyone in the family

DON’T
...bring up the same old points of dispute
...use this time to bring up bad decisions from the past
...answer business calls or do office work during this time
...put anyone down
...use negative language or have a negative attitude
...have the TV on in the background (unless you are watching a movie)
...steer conversations toward controversial subjects
...overreact if someone spills food or drink or breaks something
...answer the phone during your time together. You’re showing your kids they are more important than anyone else.

Interested in more information about planning your family time? Visit www.lifecoachintoronto.com and learn how Life Coach in Toronto, Ivana Pejakovic, can help your family succeed.

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