For some, Valentine's Day is a wonderful opportunity to show appreciation for people they love, and for others, it's seen as a day of unnecessary commercialization. Whichever way you go, you still need to face the hurdle of explaining this occasion to your child.
With that being said, how can we explain this somewhat “grand” occasion to kids? How can we explain it, without them being exposed to “romantic love” when they are in pre-school? Can we avoid the topic and avoid them being overwhelmed by the variety of goodies in store or celebrations the school has? Do we want them to think that this occasion is the only day that we should be giving someone flowers, chocolates, gifts, or acts of kindness and saying how much we care or love them?
Now, before I go further, I know each parent has their own view, parenting styles, and whatnot but this article is merely something that may have crossed some parents’ minds and may be useful to them. Ultimately the choice is yours to make.
Valentine’s day is more than just giving cards and gifts. As parents, we can use this occasion to teach our children about the true meaning of love. Get them to understand different kinds of love- the love for their parents, pets, family and friends, toys, etc. Teaching kids to be kind and show gratitude and respecting each person for whom they are, despite differences. In this way, we help our kids grow by expressing gratitude, respect and inspiring confidence in themselves and others.
What about gifting? If you do want to send your child’s friend a friendship valentine gift- maybe reconsider this – consider the feelings of those who don’t get anything, and the self-doubt they may grow up with. Instead, opt for sending something to the entire class, or don’t send anything at all. In this way you teach your kids about sharing and creating equal opportunity for all rather than only showing feelings to some and making others feel left out or rejected, lowering their self-esteem and confidence. At the same time, what does giving a gift mean- does it have to be something bought or can you make something special for someone? It’s about valuing the thought and consideration gone into making someone smile or be happy.
Outside of school, in your own home, show your kids that love, respect and kindness begin at home. Kids learn by watching others and most importantly they watch and learn from you as parents. Expression of love is not only by saying I love you, but through acts of kindness, time, and respect, not only on Valentine’s Day but every day.
So, to sum it up, valentine’s day is about:
1. Giving gratitude.
2. Being respectful
3. Showing compassion
4. Being considerate
6. Kindness and inclusion
7. Family time
We wish you and your kids an awesome day filled with loads of fun, excitement, and most importantly family love.
Lots of love from all of us @Meera4kids