Last week the world celebrated Valentine’s Day which coincided with the 14th Day post Spring Festival – the Lantern Festival.
Growing up in Soviet Russia, we never celebrated Valentine’s Day and I had not much of an idea what it was till I read about it at the University during one of the European History classes.
When I first came to China and became an expat, it was fun doing something for Valentine’s with my friends but the idea never really appealed to me and that was just it – a fun day to eat chocolate and go out with friends.
Now in our family we don’t celebrate Valentine’s. However, I take it as an opportunity to talk about the Virtue of Love.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been homebound with the children due to cold weather and a cold/sinus infection. Since I felt better by Friday, I spent whole morning with my 5 year old and 19 months old making collages for love and appreciation.
The idea is simple: cut out few big hearts and a bunch of smaller hearts. We also used colorful contact paper to make hearts. Then place the bigger heart in the middle of the big sheet of white paper and stick smaller hearts around in a desired order. Write your love messages and put them on display!
Suggested materials: white sheets of paper, construction paper, colorful contact paper, regular color paper, scissors, glue, pencils, crayons, markers.
What did you do for Valentine’s Day? Do you celebrate it in your family? How do you show your appreciation and love to your family members?
Today’s Virtue Wednesday is about Love. I chose this wonderful virtue to talk about in dedication to my dearest husband, who just celebrated his birthday on February 4th.
When I think Love, I always have this fuzzy warm feeling. It is such an uplifting feeling and while often people think that love is all about dreamy state of mind, where your head is in the clouds and your acquire wings, love is actually much more than that.
As a child, feeling love for me was about my parents smile, their encouragement, my friends appreciation, being hugged and kissed, consoled when I was sad.
When I grew up, I realized how much more there is to love: trust, appreciation, friendliness, honesty, care, consideration and more.
One person I could see showing all of this was my husband. When we started getting closer as friends, I could see him being so genuine in his words and actions, no hidden agenda, no hidden motives. He spoke his mind out, yet, he truly cared how it was perceived. I fell in love with this man and 6 years later I am grateful every day for how much love he has in his heart and mind for me, our children and people around. If you want to read the story of how we met and got married, you can read in my post on Our Anniversary.
When we teach children about love, we always tell them that even though we get upset with them sometimes, or they get upset with us, it doesn’t mean the love stops. It just means we have come to some obstacle that we need to overcome together, using the power of virtues, using the power of love.
We start our day with greetings and confirmations, waking them up with kind words and kisses and hugs. We assure them of our love. And they assure us in theirs.
If we have disagreements or some problems between us, we try to cool down and sort things out by communicating with each other, finding a solution, a good compromise. We again assure each other there is always love for one another.
We also talk about showing love not only to family and friends, but to strangers too. We explain that it doesn’t mean running to hug and kiss everyone we see. It is just by being kind, polite and helpful if the need arises. Treating people fairly and equally despite their background and social status.
We talk about overwhelming feelings and how everyone can lose patiences or get angry from time to time. It happens to us, it happens to our children, friends, family and strangers. Sometimes with other people we have no chance to sort things out, but we can still learn from the experience and try to do better on our side the next time we meet with such obstacle.
If we really look around, love is everywhere. It is not hard to see. We just forget to find it at times. We let other feelings overpower the strongest force this world has ever had – Love.
Here I would like to revisit last week’s activity on Heartlings and suggest it again as it really is a helpful reminder about love and consideration.
How do you talk about love with your children? Do you have any interesting activities which teach about the virtue of Love?