Your Presence is the Best Present

Forget about the fancy triple chocolate cookie pops, the pricey heart covered Build-a-Bear, and the massive red and white mylar balloon bouquet you were planning to gift your child with this Valentine’s Day.  Save your money and present your son or daughter with your presence on February 14th and in the days, weeks and months that follow.

While candy, stuffed animals and shiny inflatables typically rank high on a child’s Valentine’s Day gift wish list, most kids would likely trade in the treats for one-on-one time with mom and dad.

Life is hard enough for youngsters, so knowing that they have someone they can count on to listen to their concerns and validate their feelings is a gift you can’t put a price tag on.

No matter how many material possessions you shower upon your child nothing can rival your willingness to unabashedly show him how much you love him.  If you have neglected to do this recently, let Valentine’s Day mark a new beginning.  Don’t get overwhelmed by the idea; rather, keep it simple.  Consider setting aside 15 minutes each and every day to tell your child how much you love her.  Another easy and inexpensive way to display your love is to write a short note and place it in your child’s lunchbox or simply put down your iPhone, get off Facebook, or turn off the television and give your child an extra long hug before he goes to bed or gets on the school bus.

Remember children are like sponges and often repeat behavior they see exhibited before them.  If you want honest kids, be honest in every aspect of your life.  If you want kind, thoughtful, generous children, then model those behaviors.  Spend time with your child.  Set a good example.  Be the person you want your child to become.  Doing so will go a long way to cut through the commercialism of Valentine’s Day and illustrate the true meaning of love.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.