Valentine’s Day Memories

It’s not always easy for kids while we like to think of Valentine’s Day as all sweet, candy and roses, I’m sure we all remember days of heartbreaks as well.

Remember when, before the politically correct days of every child giving a Valentine to everyone in the class, you counted your cards and came up short? Or when the Valentine’s card from a certain special someone you had been admiring for months never arrived. For many children, Valentine’s Day can accentuate feelings of inadequacy. Parenting experts, Alvin Poussaint, M.D. and Susan Linn, Ed.D., have some suggestions on how parents can help their children gain some perspective on the day.

Here are some tips from their Family Education blog.

First, be clear about your own feelings about Valentine’s Day. Is it a holiday that’s important to you? Do you expect gifts or cards from family members? Do you give them? How do you feel about the increasingly commercial aspect of the holiday?

Talk with your children’s teachers about their Valentine’s Day policies. If your child is expected to give valentines to every child in his class, then make sure he does so. If he doesn’t want to do that, talk with him about the reasons for the rule — that lots of adults remember having their feelings hurt on Valentine’s Day and they don’t want their children or students to have the same bad experience. You can also suggest that the spirit of the holiday should be one of expressing affection toward the people in our lives.

Share your own experiences of Valentine’s Day — both the good and the bad. Do you remember counting the valentines you received? Do you remember noticing which children got more than you and which kids got less?

If your child balks at giving a valentine to a classmate that she doesn’t like, listen to her feelings. It’s unreasonable to expect your child to like everyone in her class, but if the classroom rules for Valentine’s Day necessitate that she gives a valentine to everyone or to no one, it’s important for her to comply.

Find more of Poussaint’s and Linn’s great ideas on talking to talk to your kids about Valentine’s Day at Family Education.