Sure, nothing says "Happy Mother's Day" like elbow macaroni glued to construction paper. But how many of these macaroni cards does one mom need? Dads, it's time for us to up our game. With a little effort, we can inspire our kids to make truly meaningful Mother's Day gifts.
Our long-term goal should be to have our kids take over the responsibility of celebrating Mother's Day, so we need to teach them the uplifting power of words and actions. With a bit of cuteness from the kids and some creativity from us, we'll have something that really says, "Happy Mother's Day!"
A video message
A few heartfelt words can let Mom know she's valued. Borrow her phone and record a video of the kids reciting a poem they've written or saying a few nice things about Mom. She can show it off wherever she goes. She will smile, and maybe even tear up a little, when she hears her kids' giggles and creative rhymes: "Mom is special. Mom is sweet. She cooks my breakfast and rubs my feet." When the kids see the power their words have to communicate love, they may even say those words more often without being reminded.
Everyone loves finding notes of encouragement in unexpected places. Help the kids create Mother's Day notes for Mom's coffee mug. Add labels of appreciation to the milk jug or her toothpaste tube. Unroll the toilet paper and help the kids write encouraging words for Mom to find when she sits down for a "break."
Acts of love
A coupon book is a great way to get the kids involved in a Mother's Day gift. Encourage each kid to design a few coupons that Mom can cash in anytime. "Free hugs and kisses" are great, but what Mom wouldn't love a coupon for a "back and shoulder massage"? Think about ways to serve Mom or spend time with her doing something that she enjoys: "movie night with Mom" or "help Mom in the flower garden." Design a nice cover for the coupon book and wrap it up with a bow.
We need to help our kids think creatively and speak lovingly. Maybe the kind things we teach our kids to say and do on Mother's Day will spread to other days ... like Father's Day.Jared Hottenstein has been a fifth-grade teacher for 18 years.