Ah, Valentine’s Day… it’s that time of year where most people across the nation are panicking, either because they’ve only just remembered, or because they’re petrified that perhaps their gift isn’t quite good enough. Certainly, it’s a wonderful time of year where couples can remind one another of just how lucky they are. For other brave souls it’s the day to find the courage and confess their feelings for their crush; and plenty of new relationships are born. But, it’s not all rose petals and scented candles; for many people, Valentine’s Day can be rather miserable.
Think about the way that some people feel on Valentine’s Day: sad because they are single; regretful because they’ve recently ended a relationship; or envious because a friend received more cards or a better gift from their partner. Expectation is not a great lesson to be teaching our children about love. Instead, we should be teaching our children the importance of self-love; something that, when handled correctly, will hopefully mean that you’ll never have to see them feeling blue on Valentine’s Day.
As such, this is something that we’d like to talk about today. So let’s take Valentine’s Day back to its roots and celebrate it in the way that it was meant to be celebrated. Not via material possession, one-upmanship, or the terrible habit that we all have of comparing ourselves to others – but solely and purely about love.
Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples
Valentine’s Day is not only for celebrating romantic love, but familial love, friendship and admiration too. This isn’t to say that you and your partner shouldn’t shower one another with gifts and make plans to spend the evening together (it’s just as important to show children how to love others, as it is to love themselves). But the celebrating of Valentine’s Day and the expression of love should be measured in your words & actions, and not simply through gift-giving.
It can be easy to overlook just how much children take in about out adult lives. If we find things stressful, difficult or emotionally taxing, then they will pick up on it. This might not be as obvious as with adults. Children still lack the ability to process emotions effectively (and let’s face it, so do many adults); but this doesn’t mean they aren’t going to internalise what they are sensing and experiencing. Without the lens and perspective of an adult, this can leave them feeling very similar to those they are witnessing, with even less of the understanding.
So, take the time to check their feelings and behaviours. Why not find the time to make Valentine’s Day cards with your children? You can sit down together as a family, make cards for each other and write down what you love most about one another. It could be a great self-esteem boost for them, with Christmas now seeming like a distant memory. But it can also demonstrate the fact that they have all the love that they need at home.
Having that security blanket of love at home helps to give children the strength to engage with the world. Like a building, children need those strong foundations and emotional health is so easy to overlook.
Self-love begins with self-discovery
Of course, at such a young age, children shouldn’t be concerned with relationships or how many valentine’s day cards they can get. Yes, its adorable seeing your little one dealing with their first crush, and we’re certainly not saying that you should discourage them from exploring their feelings. However, before worrying about all of that, first they must discover themselves. This is what childhood is all about; developing an understanding of the self both physically, mentally and emotionally.
Children’s gymnastics is a brilliant way of encouraging your little people on a journey of self-discovery. It will help them to learn new skills and to bolster the relationship that they have with their body. This will invariably fill them with a new-found confidence that can translate well into other areas of their lives, as was touched upon in our previous post.
Introducing your little ones to children’s gymnastics will also show them the value in exercise, movement, and the amazing things that we can learn to do. A big part of developing as a gymnast or in any kind of sport, is learning about your own limits and abilities. Being able to understand this, on a very instinctive level, gives us the foundation of appreciating ourselves, our abilities and hopefully a little bit of love for ourselves and what we can do.
Of course, you could bring your child down for a free trial class with Gym Bubbas and them not take to it. We understand that it is not for everyone (which is an important aspect of self-discovery). For your children to learn to love themselves, first they must discover their talents, passions, and dreams. It’s a part of identifying what makes them feel good and will help them to move through life with love and without the constant need for validation from others.