What Moms Really Want for Valentine’s Day

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Are you stuck on what to get your mom on a day that’s all about sharing the love?

Here’s a hint for our children: We don’t necessarily want a bottle of perfume or a delivered bouquet. Scents evaporate and flowers die — but good deeds have staying power and make your mom feel loved.

Here’s what we really want on Sunday, February 14 — and on any day of the year, for that matter.

1: Converse with Us at the Table. When you sit down for dinner, relinquish all electronics without being asked. In fact, for the next half hour, act as if you’ve forgotten how to use a phone, a tablet or a remote control that powers a device in a completely different room. Here’s an idea: When you’re at the table, have an actual conversation, beginning with, “How was your day, Mom?”

2: Clear the Table without Being Asked. Act like you are the wait staff at a nice restaurant. Take your parents’ used dishes, clean them off, and load them in the dishwasher or wash them yourself. Then, make this a habit. Forever. You’ll have a few people around you jumping up and down.

3: Learn How to Do Laundry.Ask your mom how to sort, load, and wash all those pieces of clothing you wear every day. (Better yet, ask your dad. And better even than that: Teach yourself.) If you do any of this, you may see your mom go speechless.

4: Put Your Clothes Away. Translation: Don't leave pants, shirts, socks and anything else on the bed in little unfolded pile. Put them into the drawers and closet, out of sight. Do it!

5: Come Home Early. If you're in your teens and have a curfew, beat it. That's right: Arrive at home a good half hour before you're supposed to on Saturday night (or Sunday night, if your school has a holiday on Monday). Let your mom get some well-earned shut-eye because you know she won't sleep well until you are safely within the walls of your house.

6: Do Animal Duty. Walk the dog, scoop the kitty litter, clean out the gerbil cage, switch the newspaper for the canary ... Just do whatever your helpless little animals need to survive.

7: Get Up, Get Ready and Get to School on Time. And do it without a single word from a parental figure.

8: Initiate the Affection. Don't make your mom ask for a hug when she drops you at school or picks you up from an event. Reach over and give her a big squeeze and a peck. At while you're at it, thank her for giving birth to you because childbirth is really hard.

9: Arrange Your Own Social Schedule. Contrary to what you might believe, your mom is not your social secretary. Figure things out on your own (pending parental approval).

10: Say Thank You. When you receive a box of chocolates for Valentine's Day, show gratitude. And don't ask (as you did at your last birthday), "Is that all?"

11: Write to Your Grandparents. They want nothing more than to hear from you. The stuff you do everyday? Tell them. It may not be such a big deal to you, but it is to them. This helps Mom in ways you'll understand in about 20 or 30 years.

12: Volunteer for Anything. ANYTHING that helps your household work better -- without the promise of a reward -- would be great.

We moms want our homes to run as smoothly as possible -- and any kid can help make this happen. If you're still not convinced any of the above ideas are the best possible gifts for Mom on the annual Day of Love, consider these statistics:

  • $18.9B: Average amount Americans are expected to spend this Valentine’s Day
  • $190.53: Average amount guys are expected to spend
  • $96.58: Average amount women are expected to spend
  • $0: Cost of doing any of the above suggestions

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What Dads Really Want for Valentine's Day

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