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Why you should celebrate Valentine’s Day with your kids, especially if you’re single

Single for Valentine's Day? Your kids should still see you celebrate the holiday

Other than sending your kids to school with the required Valentine’s Day cards for the class, you may not want to do anything on the day of love if you’re a single parent. But that’s why you should celebrate it, even more so than if you had a partner. Don’t let your kids grow up to hate celebrating love if they don’t have a partner.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day with kids puts a whole new spin on the holiday that single parents everywhere need to embrace. We all need more love and less bitterness about being single. Start with yourself by modeling for your children that loving yourself is the best reason to enjoy this holiday.

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Hands holding up the letters to spell out the word "love,"

You have to set the tone for Valentine’s Day

Once your kids are at that age where crushes and childhood boyfriend/girlfriend status start to pop up in class, they could feel lonely on a holiday like Valentine’s Day. If they go home and see you being miserable about being single, it will add to their sadness when the holiday rolls around.

How to embrace the day

  • Decorate the house
  • Exchange homemade or store-bought family Valentines
  • Watch cute family movies together
  • Treat it like a special day just for your family
  • Get/make a special dinner and don’t skip the dessert

Having your children see you just as happy on a day like Valentine’s Day as a single person will perk up their own confidence. And you might have fun and enjoy it more than you’d thought then if you pretended it didn’t exist. So, start hyping up Valentine’s Day to get your children excited. Turn the day on its head and make it special for you and your family.

A group of friends having fun

Who else could be your Valentine besides a partner

Valentine’s options

  • Friend
  • Parent
  • Other family members
  • Pet
  • Neighbor

Valentine’s Day is overly pushed as a holiday to love only if you have a partner. Little kids don’t quite get it, but as your children get older, especially into high school, the idea of having to have a Valentine becomes overwhelming. Go over with your kids who else could be someone’s Valentine.

Don’t forget yourself

You are your best Valentine. Get something special for you, no matter what it is you’ve had your eye on. Being kind and taking yourself out on a date or buying something nice shows your children that taking care of and loving yourself is something that everyone should do.

Two friends hanging out on the swings at a park.

Celebrate friendships

Valentine’s Day is a day of love — all types of love! If you’re lucky enough to live near your friends, celebrate your friendship with a Valentine’s date or act of kindness. Meet up for a coffee, grab their favorite candy or chocolate, and bring a smile to their face in person. If you don’t live close to your friends, a paper Valentine sent the old snail mail would brighten up anyone’s day.

Have your kids send Valentine’s cards to any friends or family they would like to, and ask if they have a close friend they’d like to pick up a small something for. On a budget? Homemade items from kids are the most adorable thing ever. 

A woman showing another woman and her kids how to cook in the kitchen.

Show love toward others

Ideas on how to spread the love

  • Find a local volunteer opportunity
  • Visit an animal shelter
  • See if the local retirement community would like visitors
  • See if any patients at the hospital would like a visit
  • Pay it forward at your local coffee shop
  • Bake goodies and take them around your neighborhood

Using Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to pay it forward will not only give you something to do on the day, but it shows your kids that doing it out of love for others is always the way to go. If you have older kids or teens, have them come with you. If you can’t bring your kids with you, take pictures and talk about your experience when you get home.

A sign that says "love yourself" with roses by it

Show and display platonic love

Leave the lovey-dovey couple-type stuff out of it. Do all the platonic things you want to do with your friends and kids, but never find the time to do. Play board games together, go for walks and talk about life or just enjoy the scenery, see that movie, paint each other’s nails, do facials, go to a museum, or cook food together.

Adults relieve stress by doing things they loved to do as kids. Depending on the weather, go to a park or ride bikes with a friend. Color, have a dance party with single anthems only, and play games like Hide and Seek, Heads Up 7 Up, or Red Light, Green Light. Whatever you do, it’s all about reconnecting with each other and strengthening that bond between you and the people in your life that you love.

Instead of trying to stay off your phone to dodge social media all day to not see a million proposals and date night posts, embrace the love in a different way. You don’t have to hide in the house, and you don’t have to be grumpy when your children brings home their class Valentines. Enjoy Valentine’s Day with your kids and with your friends and celebrate you. Because you are pretty amazing just the way you are.

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