I have to admit – I’ve never really embraced the idea of Valentine’s Day. That being said, now that I have daughters and am approaching 15 years of marriage, I’ve come to see three important opportunities Valentine’s Day provides us as dads.
They may not be scientific, but they are rooted in important principles.
Opportunity #1 – Acknowledge and demonstrate love in tangible ways
While the idea of romantic love can often feel like a distant memory after kids, the importance of romance to healthy relationships is proven. Valentine’s Day is our chance to reconnect to the practice of romance. Expressing love by getting the chocolates, roses, special love notes, or surprises that make your partner blush are all opportunities. It may also be what your partner needs. With the heavy load that moms carry, it’s especially important to let her know how much you appreciate her.
The added benefit – your kids see how much you love each other. That’s important because children learn about healthy relationships from what they see from their parent’s relationship. Which leads to opportunity #2…
Opportunity #2 – Model healthy relationship skills for your kids
Because our kids learn from our example, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to reconnect to good relationship skills. By focussing on love and expressing it, you’re setting a standard for your kids to follow. You’re also letting them know that love is important to relationships.
A dad’s actions are important for boys and girls – not only to see, but also to experience.
Dads, your relationship with your daughter is the model for her future relationships. If you are able to give and receive love in positive and healthy ways with her, then it is likely she will seek out those same qualities or experiences in her future relationships. Valentine’s Day is your opportunity to let her know how much you love her, and how valuable she is as a person. Don’t miss this opportunity for your daughter.
And with your sons, this is equally important. You are showing him how to give and receive love, and that it’s important for his future relationships. It’s also a great opportunity to work together to make Valentine’s Day special for his mother. Helping him write a simple note or taking him to get mom a special treat can be a time you bond, while sharing that caring for relationships matters.
Every relationship has highs and lows, so this blog may come at a challenging point in yours, but there is still an opportunity. Focus on the good you once had. Find one thing you appreciate and make that the primary focus for Valentine’s Day. Set aside any problems. You never know what might come from the renewed focus on this day to celebrate love. Besides that, it can also contribute to opportunity #3…
Opportunity #3 – Build positive rituals into your family
It’s been said that rituals are routines with meaning. The meaning and value of rituals for family is to create lasting memories, build bonds, and hold people together.
“Rituals are routines with meaning.”
Rituals around Valentine’s Day can be as simple as giving an extra hug in the morning or writing a love note. It doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as it has meaning for you and your family.
Valentine’s Day is just another chance to invest in the positive benefits of rituals. If you weren’t aware of the benefits, rituals can:
- reinforce positive values
- create comfort and security
- help manage daily emotions
- acknowledge growth
- help navigate transitions
- build connection
If taking five minutes extra to acknowledge Valentine’s Day can result in any of those benefits, then even I can do that. I may be a slow learner, but I’ve come to embrace these three as opportunities I can’t miss.
Which opportunity will you try this Valentine’s Day? I’d love to hear your feedback, so please leave a comment and let me know what you think.
About The Author – Drew Soleyn
I’m the Director of Dad Central Ontario, Founder of Connected Dads, and a Career Coach at the Queen's Smith School of Business. As an ICF certified coach and John Maxwell Team Coach, Trainer & Speaker, I help struggling dads show up at their best for the people who matter most.