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Listen, Laugh, Inspire: Find true happiness

Jaime Deathe, Healthy Community-Healthy Youth Flamborough

Valentine’s Day is a day of love and romance for some, a day of chocolate and cards for others, but for many teens it is a day of sadness and self-pity.

Every year, when stores fill up on bears, jewelry and flowers, I hear some of the most independent people I know complain about being single for Valentine’s Day.

They go on about how much better the day would be if they had someone with whom to share it. However, what if we spent February 14 not with a lover, but the people we love?

We have been taught since the day we were born to love with all our heart, although somewhere along the years, when we traded our Barbies for boys, we have interpreted this to believe we need to be in love to be happy, which I have experienced for myself is a very powerful thing.

It is not until the Facebook status has been changed back to “single” that you really appreciate your friends and family, who have been there all along.

To be alone and to be lonely are two extremely different things. Sometimes you need to be alone; it is never okay to be lonely.

February has been pinned as the loneliest month of the year, the opposite of what it is meant to be. I encourage you this Valentine’s Day to spend time with the people who make you happiest. Then you will find true happiness.

Inspire

Asset no. 15 – Positive peer influence: young person’s best friends model responsible behavior.

Monthly Challenge: Get to know your child or children’s friends and their families. Point out what you like about them. Talk with your child about her or his friends. Ask questions to find out what they’re like. Don’t jump to conclusions based on what friends look like. Avoid criticizing friendships that seem negative to you, but be honest when you’re concerned about a relationship. Be active; take them skiing, tubing, tobogganing, hiking, skating, bowling, etc. Go on a road trip, visit a new place. Take them to watch a local team or sporting event.

The best way to encourage children to choose positive, healthy relationships is to model them ourselves.

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