Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and as a mom of three elementary school kids, that usually just means another excuse for them to eat chocolate and candy in class. Obviously they are thrilled. Most valentines are a generic: “I’m ‘beary’ happy you’re in my class” with a packet of gummy bears attached, or something cute and pinteresty. (Yes, I’m guilty of it too). However, this year, Yianna’s 5th grade teacher asked for no candy in their valentine’s cards. We could have done the same generic type: “you rule” with a little ruler to each kid, but Yianna had a better idea. Instead, she took the time to make actual valentines. She sat at the table and wrote a few sentences to each person in her class about why he or she is special and loved. I’m super proud of her for this, BUT my favorite part, is that she wrote herself a valentine card as well. She wrote: “Dear Yianna, you are smart, kind, and pretty. Happy Valentine’s Day”
You guys, mike drop. I was speechless. I was so inspired by this and so proud of her for intuitively knowing the importance of this seemingly small gesture. She didn’t wait for someone else to write her something meaningful and special, she did it herself!
We should all take the time to write our own love notes, because loving yourself is the key. With self love, we can find gratitude and happiness, and only when we love ourselves can we truly love and care for others. I want my kids to love themselves and to be proud of their brains and their strength and what their bodies can do.
Don’t forget, these kids are watching us. They see us model behavior of self-love or the opposite. What message do you want to send your kids, and what philosophies about themselves do you want them to carry with them throughout their lives? Think about it, and if you’re not modeling that behavior, change it! The next time you close a big deal or carry all of your groceries in one trip, say out loud, I’m so proud of how hard I worked and how smart I am to close that deal, or how strong and amazing my body is to carry all of these bags. Give yourself a high five. Let them see it!
You’ve heard that saying: talk to yourself like you would talk to your child. You wouldn’t get down on your little one if he tried something new (or not new) and didn’t succeed. You would encourage him to get back up and try again. You wouldn’t point out that your daughters’ arms are squishy, you’d tell her how strong and capable they are. Give yourself the same LOVE.
Fifth grade girls are not known for their kindness, and I am so proud to have a daughter who is kind not only to others, but to herself.
This year for Valentine’s Day, I want you to truly love how smart you are, how strong you are, how resilient you are, how compassionate you are, how beautiful you are, how determined you are, and how amazing you are in all the ways that make you special and uniquely you.
… And sidebar: she has her first crush and it’s soooo sweet. It’s the most innocent joyful little butterfly feeling and it makes my heart remember all of those feelings watching her. And, guess what, he likes her back! Her first crush likes her back, and my heart leaps for her. It’s so cute. (And no, they are not going on dates. Ha, I told her she could have a boyfriend in law school … we’ll see how long that lasts). Any way, my point is, please don’t forget those little butterflies this month. Remember how exciting it was when you liked someone and he or she liked you back! Bring those feelings, that lightness, that joy, that excitement back into your relationship if it’s lost a little of that sparkle … especially if you have a new baby. Hold onto those first feelings; remember them, and do something to show your Valentine that he or she still makes you feel that way.
Wishing YOU so much love,
Angie + Dr. Cap