Parents have to be intentional about teaching children about love, especially sibling love.

My children are going through a sibling-rivalry phase. It is annoying me greatly because they are in constant competition with each other. They compete in grades, sports, the number of friends they have, and for my affection and attention. Both want to be the star of the house with no room for the other to shine.

Anyone who knows me knows I hate competitive spirits because I’ve seen them destroy relationships and friendships. I also realize God’s given us all unique gifts and paths to take in life, and one should not be envious or jealous of another because of the differences. I went through sibling rivalry with one of my sisters. We are less than two years apart, and even to this day, she finds it hard to not compete with me or compare our lives. She swears I received more attention from our mother as children.

I also noticed at Christmas that my children are showing signs of entitlement and ungratefulness. Most of us who are doing a little better than our parents financially want to give our children what we didn’t have and expose them to what we did not experience. I do this with my children. I admit it’s making them a little spoiled now. So this Valentine’s Day I have a great spiritual activity for children that might help them step outside of themselves to think about someone else. It’s called “Ask Valentine.”

“Genuine love sees faces, not a mass: the good shepherd ‘calleth his own sheep by name’”—George A. Buttrick

“Ask Valentine” is just an intercessory prayer list.

Cut out heart shapes from colored construction paper.

At the top of the heart, create a space to add someone’s name. You can even paste a small picture on it.

Draw five lives under the name line or picture. Number the lines.

Have the children put the names of their siblings, friends, or family on the hearts.

Ask them to think of five ways they would like for God to bless that person. Repeat for all of the hearts you cut out.

Punch a hole in the top of each heart.

Using a wire hanger, which you can decorate, hang each heart with colorful yearn or string and create a prayer mobile.

Have them write their sibling’s name on the heart
You can really get fancy using clothes pins.
Here’s an example of how your “Ask Valentine” mobile can look.

The children can hang their “Ask Valentine” prayer mobile in their rooms. Prayerfully, this will help them think of others when they say their daily prayers.

Tell me what you think about the “Ask Valentine” prayer mobile. Are you going to do it with your little ones?

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