Teen Talk, February 14, 2013: Teens & Valentines

Valentine's Day
Posted at 8:41 AM, Feb 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-22 06:58:40-04
Teen Talk, 2-14-13, Teens and Valentines
Question:  Valentine’s Day, a day of romance, candlelight dinners, special gifts for your teen.  How can you make Valentine’s Day more meaningful and more spiritual for teenagers in general?
Answer:  Several years ago there was an attempt on huge media outlets to change the focus and while most of us love the time honored traditions of Valentine’s Day we can start with making Valentine’s day a generosity day, a day for rebooting Valentine’s day with not only roses and chocolates but in your family something that represents generosity. 
1.       Your teen can start by surprising one of their single teachers or one of your older neighbors with a gift that says, “From the teen next door for your Valentine”.  A surprise almost always makes Valentine’s Day extremely special.
2.        Make Valentine’s a day about love, action, and human connection.  Certainly this teaches your teens how to grow in ways far beyond they were intended. An action might be taking cookies to an oncology unit or down to the surgical waiting room. This makes it a day of action.
3.       Don’t forget about doing kind, secret gestures.  You know that these most often have a ripple effect.  These gestures can be humble, simplistic, creative, and quietly carried out.  For example, pay it forward.  That’s how they can begin to change their tradition as far as the Valentine holiday experience.
4.       Flowers, tons of chocolate, the language of love, and wonderful cards.  This is indeed the time honored tradition of Valentine’s Day. Keep it simple and basic and often times use restraint.  Teens, this is not the time to give the gift of an Ipod to your love interest.
5.        If you are going to give your loved ones flowers this Valentine’s day, think outside the box.  Give a single daisy or a single calla lily and attach a statement saying, “he loves me, he loves me not”, or one cute one I heard was to give your loved one a cactus with a note attached that says, “I’m stuck on you”. There are so many wonderful gifts you can give.  One of the recommendations that I make to many of my patients is to choose a gift for a loved one that is under a dollar.  For example, wrap a wishbone in a jewelry box and say, “I wish for you a Happy Valentine’s Day” or “I wish that you are granted all of your wishes”.  Gifts for parents could include creating a music CD featuring maybe The Moody Blues, or The Temptations, or something from their history that is very meaningful to them. Parents, teens are used to social media which includes text messaging, instant messaging, tweeting, Facebook.  Customize notecards with your teen’s name on them and encourage them to use them throughout the year for their friends.  Teens love hands on experience.
6.       For parents of girls there is a company called Esens and it lets you create a personalized fragrance for your teen based on her personality, if she’s quirky, or athletic.  The packaging is cute, the cost is reasonable, and the process is pretty easy.
7.       For boys, I like the Roku streaming player as well as a gift card to or to one of the retail outlets, then guys can be creative about securing their own gift. Teens are notoriously known for enjoying their electronic gadgets as are parents, but try to find a gift you can both enjoy.
8.       Give a continuing gift that has a ripple effect.  For example you give a gift in the name of your son or daughter to a local charity that goes to a special place where they understand the gesture that continues that wonderful ripple effect.
9.       Where money is an issue, get some wonderful options checking out the Pinterest pages.  They are linked to boards with tutorials on how to make journals, cards, putting in meaningful quotes, how to make a fantastic book for either your or your teen and their special love interest.  On the top of each journal page write one of the quotes until you fill the journal.  You’ll score major points with that loved one.
10.   Big Bend teens and parents, make your Valentine’s Day a day of love, action, and human connection.  Have a very Happy Valentine’s Day. 

Information provided by Jane Marks & Associates.