04 Mar Give the Gift of Love to Your Family
Just because Valentine’s Day and the holidays are over, doesn’t mean you can’t show your love and appreciation for your family.
I don’t remember what my mom gave me for my birthday when I was 8, or even the name of the book my dad gave me for Christmas last year. But I do have vivid memories of baking oatmeal cranberry cookies with my mom when I was 9 and proudly passing them out to my entire 4th grade. The picture of my dad and me at my 7th grade Daddy-Daughter Dance is still proudly displayed on my bureau. Egg foo young still elicits strong memories of my sophomore year break up (on Valentine’s Day, nonetheless) and the congratulatory feast and movie binge my mom arranged at the last minute (she never liked him). Bright colored packages all tied up with string have come and gone, but dancing to “My Girl” with my father and picturing my mother chortling with glee while doing a spritely soft shoe every time I eat greasy Chinese food are firmly and lovingly etched in my mind.
Give the gift of love and appreciation by challenging your family to give memories “just because”. Here are some of my favorite memory builders:
- Create cards for each other writing why you love each other.
- Make a special meal together- everyone can help!
- Take turns making breakfast in bed for each other.
- Plan a special activity with each child in your family dedicating at least one hour only to that child.
- Turn on some music and dance like crazy!
- Plan a movie night and popcorn binge.
- Play “tag” or “hide and seek” with your child.
- Organize a family game night-nothing says “I love you” more than sinking Mom’s battleship.
- Have your kids teach you how to play a video game (watch out, you may love it as much as they do)!
- Make a special treat together as a family and give them to your friends and family.
Lisa Marie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who earned her both her Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since 2005, Lisa Marie has been working with children, teens, parents, and families in schools, hospitals, and community counseling centers. She works with kids, teens, and adults, specializing in anxiety (whether due to every day stressors or trauma), mood disorders, social and behavioral issues, coping skills deficiencies, and school-related issues. Lisa Marie uses a mix of cognitive-behavioral, talk, and play (for the younger kids) therapy. She strongly believes that focusing on positive and healthy interactions is the bedrock of improving disruptive and unhelpful behaviors and thoughts. She helps empower families by teaching them strategies on how to: become attuned to their struggling child’s emotions, improve communication skills, and develop routines to increase success at home and school. Lisa Marie lives in Chicago and spends her free time enjoying cultural activities and walking and biking the Lake Shore path.