NEW YORK (AP) -- Valentine's Day isn't just for lovers; it's for those you love.
Children are usually high on that list.
"Valentine's Day has romantic roots but it has become a day for everyone," observes Miriam Arond, editor in chief of Child magazine. "Parents love an excuse to show their kids how much they love them."
Most "children" never outgrow Valentines from their parents, expecting them even as adults, Arond notes.
But showering children with love doesn't mean showering children with presents.
Instead of teaching kids that Feb. 14 is just another day to submit a gift list, Arond suggests making an effort to make the day special, maybe give "a gift from the heart."
Maybe heart-shaped waffles will be waiting on the breakfast table or a special card that recounts all the things that make your child special, suggests Arond.
Craft projects can be an entree for parents to teach first lessons on love.
Preteens and even teen-agers who might shy away from giving and getting parental affection can be coaxed into making paper-petal flowers or cards.
It's not always so uncool for kids to show parents they love them, especially on a day when everyone is expected to do so, Arond says. Using funky computer graphics or humor to jazz up a card instead of being forced to send a sappy one also helps teen-agers express themselves without sacrificing their hip image, she notes.
A more sentimental route is cards made from family photographs (or color copies of family photographs) that are cut with scalloped-edge scissors to make interesting borders, suggests Kieran Juska, home and crafts editor for Rosie magazine.
"Homemade cards are the most fantastic thing for parents to get from their kids. They always hang them with pride in their office," she says.
And younger children who aren't ready to handle all the craft equipment on their own can work with parents to make Valentines for all their classmates. The emphasis is on the "all."
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.