Celebrating Love

Celebrating Love

As we anticipate Valentine’s Day this month, we wanted to share with you an article from 1996, written by Joni Hilton, author of Guilt-Free Motherhood. She created a Parent’s Pyramid of Reminders which are as relevant today as they were then. She reminded each of us to reach out with love to our kids in specific actions at least once a month, 2-3 times a month, once a week and then every day. Here are some of her suggestions:
Once a Month

  • Discuss important values in your family and ways you are honoring them
  • Review house rules, adjust responsibilities and privileges
  • Plan a family field trip
  • Take time to connect with each child and have a heartfelt talk (about them!)
  • Choose a community service organization and volunteer as a family
  • Clean out closets, organize, recycle and donate
  • Celebrate a family tradition

Two to three times per month
  • Revisit your child’s personal goals and offer rewards when accomplished
  • Teach a life skill such as cooking or doing laundry
  • Talk about friends, school, family…just to “check in”
  • Find a new recipe together and make it a dinner project
  • Take pictures of your family and individual kids too
  • Visit the library together
  • Be a good role model and take some time out for yourself
  • Resist overscheduling and celebrate spontaneity
Once a week
  • Enjoy a hobby or interest with your child
  • Do an anonymous good deed with your child
  • Teach the value of money and saving through an allowance
  • Make a date with each child and enjoy an activity one-on-one
  • Schedule a family night one time a week
  • Help your child follow through on weekly chores
  • Verbalize your pride and admiration for your child
  • Make a date with your spouse

Everyday
  • Read to your child or read together
  • Forgive your kids, your spouse, yourself
  • Laugh at something…and yourself
  • Check on homework
  • Be kind and teach by example
  • Give your child choices
  • Follow through
  • Listen
  • Teach self-discipline with daily routines (cleaning room, doing homework, helping with dinner, practicing instruments, etc.)
  • Say “please” and “thank you” and help your kids to remember to also
  • And tell each one you love that you do…and more than once!

Finally, perhaps you can relate to these love-filled quotes about parenting:
  • The depth of the love of parents for their children cannot be measured. It is like no other relationship. It exceeds concern for life itself. The love of a parent for a child is continuous and transcends heartbreak and disappointment.  James E. Faust
  • There really are places in the heart you don't even know exist until you love a child. Anne Lamott
  • Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. Charles R. Swindoll
  • Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. Elizabeth Stone
  • Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence. Plato
  • My parents elected me president of the family when I was 4. We actually had an election every year, and I always won. I’m an only child, and I could count on my mother’s vote. Condoleezza Rice
  • By their innocence and goodness, by their boundless capacity for forgiveness, and by the sheer power of their faith and hope, children redeem their parents, bringing out their best selves. Cass Sunstein

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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