love the one you're with

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and this year it may mean something more to your tween than it has in the past. She’s growing up and focused more on her friendships than ever before. As a parent, it can be a little unnerving when your tween comes home talking about her first crush. As a tween, it can also be a little scary (but maybe in a really exciting way). This week’s GirlTip is for both parents and daughters, as we strongly believe any discussion about L-O-V-E should be one that includes both parties.

Movies, TV shows and even books tend to promote the false idea of the "perfect someone" to have as a Valentine, the one who showers you with attention, flowers, and sweet notes. It’s okay to want this because it makes you feel special, but it's important to remember that love comes in many forms besides roses and chocolate. In fact, we like to think of Valentine's Day as a time to celebrate all the special people in your life who help you feel good by treating you with kindness and respect. When parents talk with their tweens about love and relationships, it's important to communicate these values to help your tween make healthy relationship choices. And by shifting the focus of the upcoming holiday from having to have the perfect romance to celebrating friends and family, we can all have a special day regardless of whether we like someone who likes us back. 

Another way you can feel special on Valentine's Day and every day is by treating yourself! Love yourself and find that specialness inside you that make you YOU! Oftentimes we look to other people to fill the need for attention and love. It’s the misguided belief that someone else will “complete” us. Before we find a sweet someone we’ve got to practice SELF-LOVE! GirlTalk Therapy challenges tweens and teens (and yes, even parents) to find a way to love and appreciate yourself on Valentine’s Day. Here are 3 tips to get your brains thinking:

  • Practice self-forgiveness. Reflect on the things you hold against yourself and work at being extra kind to yourself.
  • Choose an activity for self-care. Take a yoga class, have a super bubbly bubble bath, or commit to an early bedtime with a favorite book.
  • Boost your self-esteem. Make a list of the things that are awesome about you - this is not bragging, it's you recognizing and celebrating your strengths!

What can you do to love the one you're with every day this Valentine's Day?