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MANN: Learning about love from mom and dad

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February 14, 2019 - 12:15 PM

OPINION


Last night I put the finishing touches on my daughter’s valentines.
 
I didn’t want her to be the only one getting valentines and not giving — which is way more fun.
 
As I finished attaching goodies to Chase, Rubble and Skye, all characters from Paw Patrol, I racked my brain trying to think of what kind of valentines I gave as a child.
 
For the life of me I can’t remember.

But I know Valentine’s Day was always something I looked forward to, even if it was only for the hope of cupid-shaped goodies or a sucker or two. Even better if it was handed to be by the boy I was crushing on.
 
And here we go again — the day of hearts and flowers is finally here, and I fully expect to walk through a sea of red and pink today. I’m even looking forward to it.
 
I expect to see couples making out just a little more than usual, and grocery stories emptied of chocolates and roses.
 
Some people will choose to profess their love for someone special in their life today. There may even be a new pair of earrings, a shiny new money clip, or a diamond ring on the agenda. (My husband has conveniently forgotten mine for the ninth year in a row.)
 
Tonight, restaurants will be filled with lovebirds sharing dessert and whispering sweet nothings – making plans for the future, or ending a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere.
 
Either way it will be eventful.
 
For those of us with kids, maybe tonight will be a night our little ones visit grandma and grandpa, or play with the sitter — some time alone for mom and dad to reconnect.
 
And time alone together is great for relationships. A meal without spaghetti on the floor and 10 million questions about Winnie the Pooh sounds like a legitimate adult activity.
 
But even though the focus is on love for our significant others (at least for the most part), we can’t forget that our kids are always watching.

I do believe we are born understanding love. We immediately connect with our caretakers — those who protect us, and hold us close, and love us because they want to — not because they have to.

But as much as love appears to be a natural emotion, there are aspects that are learned.

And how better to learn about respectful love than from your parents. Until you are about ten, I suspect, and then you want nothing to do with what your parents have going on in the love department.

But until then, don’t forget that our kiddos are wondering why mom and dad are taking a night off from life, and it is great idea to let them in on the big secret.

Mommy and daddy are still connected, and not only do they love their babies, but they still love each other — or at least like each other — enough to make things work.

Give them someone to look up to, to strive to be like, and to set the standards for healthy relationships — full of love.

— Becky is a 30-something, red haired, mother of two, trying to navigate this life as best she can. She enjoys talking to people and discovering their stories. Still trying to balance her personal and professional life, she juggles work and play. In her spare time Becky can be found visiting with friends, spending time with her family and saving time by reading while walking.


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