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Holidays produce some of the fondest memories we have with our children.  Valentine’s Day is no exception.  As you pick out Valentine’s for schoolmates, boxes of chocolate for mom and grandma and bake heart shaped cookies sprinkled with red sugar, you, like many conscious parents, may also be looking for more meaning or depth in this holiday to share with your children.  In fact, February 14th is a perfect time to introduce or reinforce with your children what it means to tune into your heart and your feelings.  More than a chocolate odyssey, Valentine’s Day reminds us to dig deep, remember to love ourselves and then express that love outward. The truth is, we can only love others to the degree that we love ourselves.

In addition to the crafts stamped with “I love you,” take this opportunity to help your child(ren) get in touch with the messages of their heart.  Consider adding one or more of these meaningful  Valentine activities to your memories.

1)       Spend a day using Feeling’s Language.  Instead of making statements like, “I am hungry,” or “I love you,” phrase everything with feeling language.  “I feel like it’s about time to eat.”  “My heart is full of positive emotions for you.”  “I feel like this is the perfect day for a family walk.”  “I’m overwhelmed with joy.”  “I’m blessed to have you in my life.”  You get the picture.

2)      Establish a Gratitude Jar.  Place a jar in a family common room along with slips of paper and colored pencils, crayons or pens.  Encourage every family member to mark down what they are grateful for at least once a day and put the paper in the jar.  At the end of the week take out the slips of paper and read everyone’s gratitudes.

3)      Have a Family Meeting and ask each person to state what they love about themselves (this can be things they think they are good at as well as qualities they like in themselves).  After the family member in the “hot seat” has expressed their self love, let all the other family members add the qualities they like about this same person.  Make sure every family member gets an opportunity to be in the “hot seat.”

4)      Download music that makes your heart sing and play it when you pick the kids up from school.

5)      Make a Commitment to only say, “I love you” when you are looking into each other’s eyes.  It has more meaning that way.

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To all of you dad’s and women who fill that roll to a child, Little Soul Productions wishes you a very Happy Father’s Day!

Sometimes when these days of acknowledgement come around we spend a great deal of time fretting about the perfect gift, the best way to spend the day, how to acknowledge dad, etc.   I believe that the spirit of the day is meant to be one of appreciation and acknowledgement — by both the child and the parent.  And in truth, we don’t need gifts or fancy dinners to get that point across.

So while you are eating breakfast in bed, preparing for a hike or  sitting by the pool with the BBQ heating up, take a moment:

Dad’s appreciate the kids that you are inspiring.  Acknowledge all that they add to your life.

Kids (both young and adult) appreciate all that dad has done to help you get to where you are.  Acknowledge the space he holds in his heart for you.

This is really all it takes to have a great day.  The tie, the cake, the burned hot dogs. . . that’s just bonus!  Enjoy!!

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