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Paul on aPARENTly Speaking

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This article by Jackie Burrell appeared on aPARENTly Speaking:



Valentine’s Day… oh yeah, we know what we want. (Honey? Roses. Red ones. And dinner reservations at Va de Vi or somewhere equally fab.) But we thought we’d give you a dad’s take on the topic too. And since fellow blogger Ari rolls his eyes at questions like that, we’re bringing you dadly expertise from Paul Banas, founder of the Bay Area’s own, an advice site for fathers.

“Comedian Bill Maher often quips that holidays were invented just so married people have a reminder to have sex,” says Paul. “(But) we know how important this day is.”

Love shouldn’t be in the air just because of the date, says Paul, but because dad and the kids took the opportunity to show what they feel every day. So if mom has already made some Valentine “suggestions,” dad now has some choices, he goes on, “You can sleep on the real or metaphorical couch once again this year, or you can take action to make this a Valentine’s Day you’ll all remember. You can do this by repressing your own cynicism and with a few simple steps.”

  • Plan ahead. Order flowers now, or take the kids to the farmer’s market and have them select flowers to arrange for mom.

  • Plan the unexpected. Make reservations at that new hot spot, pick a new “make out spot,” says Paul, or “reserve a spa evening for your wife and while she’s there, arrange to take the kids to a pottery studio to make something special.”

  • Make a mix tape. “Mix tapes have seen a renaissance,” says Paul. “While you yourself may not have a set of pipes like Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé or Chris Daughtry – this gift creates a mood and sings a message that might sound sillier if you were crooning it yourself. Ask your kids to dedicate a love song to mom, and include a song list showing who picked each song for mom and why.”

  • Bring out photos of the old days when you were dating your wife, and share those stories with the kids - “It help(s) them open up and learn lessons about love indirectly.”

Paul’s got more suggestions for Valentine’s Day, including some truly adorable ways to reminisce about those first, heady days of romance - and he’s got clever lists of Valentine’s gifts for dads too. Hmmm, conga drums … a hammock … ooo, spy lasers!

Moms? What do you think? What do you want for Valentine’s Day?


 - Jackie Burrell



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