Happy February! This month we celebrate Valentines Day. Hearts, candy and signs of love are everywhere! This a great opportunity to talk about social relationships and vocabulary related to feelings. Some things to think about when you are interacting with your child follow…
LIKE vs. LOVE. There is a difference between the two. You love mom and dad and give them kisses. You like your friends and teachers. You give them a high five (or whatever gesture is deemed appropriate).
FRIEND vs. ACQUAINTANCE. Oftentimes, this latter distinction can be confusing and a child may find himself feeling hurt and rejected because his “friend” did not include him in a play group or after school get together.
VALENTINE CARDS and the process of selecting, signing, sharing and receiving them brings multiple opportunities for social awareness and vocabulary enrichment. Passing out and a receiving them is socializing and brings with it the joy of giving and receiving. For some children, this can be stressful, confusing and/or a sensory overload; role playing, social stories and video modeling are very helpful!
RECEIVING VALENTINE CARDS. Talk with your child about each Valentine and who it is from. This helps him think about his relationship with that person and you learn about his peers. If he does not know the person, he can read the name and tell if that person is a boy or girl…
VALENTINE CARD LANGUAGE. Valentine cards are typically filled with rhyming words, figurative language and colorful pictures. Depending on your child’s level of development, he can read the cards to you, tell which words rhyme (and add more rhyming words), explain the humor on the card, describe the picture.
EXPRESS and SPREAD THE LOVE. Your child can call grandma, grandpa, cousins…to say “Happy Valentines Day. I love you…”. If you receive candy, flowers…verbalize your feelings of joy (“I am so happy that daddy gave me flowers. I love daddy. He loves me.”). Draw hearts on paper, in the air, in sand, big hearts, little hearts…talk about the symbolism of hearts meaning love. Love is a feeling…you cannot touch it. However, the hearts and this wonderful holiday help to make it a tangible emotion.
Enjoy and have a Happy Valentines Day!