Parenting | How to make Valentine’s Day special in your home

heartMany lone parents hate Valentine’s Day as they feel it is a big reminder that they are on their own and that for some reason this is not considered the best option in society. However, I think it can be a really lovely occasion that reminds us to say ‘I love you’ to our nearest and dearest. Many parents will say that their child knows that they are loved but they don’t often say it. They may not be into hugs and showing affection. Valentine’s Day can be your day to say ‘I love you’ to your children, to your parents, your friends and people in your community.

This year why not plan something for Valentine’s Day with your children and make it special in your family, maybe you can create a family tradition starting this year.

Here are ten ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

  1. Each family member selects a name from the hat and then has to do something nice for that person on Valentine’s Day. At times siblings need to be reminded that they love each other. This can be something that costs nothing and just needs some thought, or you can perhaps set aside a small budget.
  2. Plan a special family meal on Valentine’s Day. Decide together what you could cook, maybe with older children can help in cooking the meal. At a time when life is so busy, we don’t always get to sit and eat together and chat with each other.  Maybe you can invite friends or family over and make it a movie night or board games evening too. Laughter is what you will have and memories will be created.
  3. Make cards together for each other and for special people in your life that you haven’t seen lately. Encourage children to make pictures and be creative.
  4. Visit someone in your community that you know has very few people in their life. It could make such a big difference to them to know that someone cares about them. Maybe you could bake some buns to take with you.
  5. Remember your childminder or people who help you survive the day to day. Everyone likes to know that they are not taken for granted. At Christmas there is so much expense, maybe Valentine’s Day could be a better time to acknowledge how much they mean to you.
  6. Plan a day out together as a family. It doesn’t have to cost money. You can go to the playground, the park, bring a picnic, maybe plenty of hot chocolate! There are so many things you can do that will create fond memories and support your family to have closer relationships with each other.
  7. Or maybe you could simply plan to ‘do nothing’ together, and enjoy a pyjama day! Take time out to spend with each other. Play games, talk, cook and just enjoy being with each other.
  8. Make a date with your child or a family member if you have not seen them for a while. It can be hard to keep track of children when they have moved out and are busy with college, work and friends, but you can be sure they still want to spend time with you. Often at this age they need your support more than ever.
  9. Why wait for someone else to do something nice for you? Do something nice for yourself. Plan your own treat. I know parents find it very hard to spend money on themselves but you deserve a treat too! Maybe you can ask someone to take your children overnight or for a few hours. Take time out, , it doesn’t have to cost much, perhaps go for coffee with a friend. Give yourself a treat.  Think about what a treat means to you and then be creative in making it happen this weekend.
  10. Wish people you meet on the day a Happy Valentine’s Day. We hear ourselves all the time asking people how they are, but how often do we stop to really listen to the response. Why not say hello and stop to listen this Valentine’s Day?

There is so much you can do, talk with your children and make some plans to start loving Valentine’s Day. What a sad world it would be if there was no love!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This week’s ’10 Ways ’ parenting tips  is written by Geraldine Kelly, One Family’s Director of Children and Parenting Services.

For support and advice on any of these topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email