We love family traditions. The special things that are unique to our family are far more important than mainstream celebrations. For most of America, Valentine’s Day is filled with chocolate, flowers and store bought cards. While those things do convey a message of love, I like to be more personal and specific. And before you V-Day haters chime in…I love you’s are not isolated only to Feb 14. We show our love throughout the year in many many ways.
The “I Love You Box” started with an “I Love You Wall.” This year we’ll use it as a sibling bonding activity. It goes like this…. Each year I choose a spot for an I love you wall. The top is labeled “I love you because,” and it’s divided into sections (with tape), one for each child. I dig out the cricut machine and make a whole bunch of hearts (or grab some pink or red post its). Each day from February 1 to February 14, I write down a reason why I love that child and tape it on the wall.
You could use…
- a wall
- kid’s bedroom door
- bulletin board
- kitchen cabinets
The first time I did it I just throw the hearts away after Valentine’s Day. But the next time I realized how much the reasons changed in a year and I thought they should be saved. First I thought I’d put then into some type of scrapbook. I journal to the kids and maybe someday I’ll stick them in there. But for now, I group them by year and put them in a 3 inch by 5 inch card box (one for each child). They then get stored in each child’s keepsake box. It’s important to express what you love about the unique individual’s character and strengths rather than just “generic” I love you’s. The goal is for your child to feel like you truly understand who she is.
Imagine if YOU had such meaningful messages from your Mom over a span of your childhood. How would that impact your relationship?
How To Make It A Sibling Bonding Activity
Just as important as family traditions (if not more so), is sibling bonding. Someday I’ll die and my offsprings will have one another. So fostering positive relationships with siblings is vital to the health and goals of our family. This year instead of getting a message from Mom, each child will write down something they love about each sibling.
- make the hearts bigger for “early writers” with still developing handwriting
- write for younger kids
- accept where they are today, don’t expect anything too deep
- kids reluctant to participate may just have a hard time expressing themselves, help them – give them 2 ideas to choose between
- choose a time of day conducive to success (not while tire or hungry or right after school)
- have fun with this
I hope you add family traditions that help grow your family relationship now and for years to come. Share your favorites with us in the comments below.