This Valentine’s Day, All You (and Your Kids) Need is Love. Really.
February 14, 2013
By Alexandra Zissu, Editorial Director
Valentine’s season is open for business. Depending on your stance, there might be more than a few things you don’t like about February 14. It could be that the boxed chocolates lining store shelves might contain genetically modified ingredients (here’s a helpful list of Valentine’s Villains from GMOInside.org) and even mercury. Or that those ubiquitous heart-adorned stuffed animals probably contain flame-retardants. Or maybe it’s just the overwhelming consumerism (according to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent $17.3 billion on candy, cards, flowers, and other romantic offerings in 2014—that’s $133.91 each!).
Love it or hate it, one thing is for sure this Valentine’s Day: when you shower the kids with love, you’re doing more than you think. Eye-opening—not to mention very cool—evidence presented by Dr. Robert O. Wright at a Mt. Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center’s educational symposium reveals that love and attention help our children grow and learn. One study even found that a positive nurturing environment can actually biologically counteract some of the negative neurological effects created by childhood exposure to environmental toxins. Looking for more reasons to snuggle your kids? The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine has collected a wealth of proof of the extraordinary gifts we can bestow upon our loved ones through simple human touch. Also extremely cool.
Time, attention, and touch are commercial-free, the sort of Valentine’s traditions money can’t buy and DIY mavens can’t craft. So feel free to put the credit cards away and no need to make your own sweets or even red construction paper hearts (unless, of course, you want to). Instead, hug, kiss, cuddle, and just generally spend happy time together this Valentine’s Day. And all days. It stands to reason that the more you do it, the better the outcome. Doctor’s orders!