Like so many other holidays, Valentine’s Day is difficult to avoid. Cupid, hearts, Valentines Day gift of flowers and jewelry, Valentine’s Day cards, romance, and lots of the color red are symbols of this holiday. In fact, it is estimated that one billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year worldwide. It is second to only Christmas in the number of cards that are given each year. Despite the commercialism and sometimes superficiality of the day, it is a day in which parents can teach their children about the goodness and power of love and giving.
Parent’s set the tone through their Feelings about Valentine’s Day
Parents should consider their own feelings about the holiday before they begin to teach their children about it. They can ask themselves the following questions: How important is Valentine Day to me? Do I give and want to receive cards and gifts? Have I ever had painful Valentine’s Day experiences? What do I want my children to learn about the holiday as they grow and mature?
Celebrating Valentine’s Day at School by Giving Cards
For most children the holiday takes on significance when they start school. Their teachers may help them make cards for their parents or encourage them to give Valentines Day cards to their classmates. Some schools make it mandatory for students that plan to give Valentines’ to give them to every classmate. One way that parents can teach their children about love and giving is to encourage them to give Valentines Day cards to all of their classmates (even if it is not mandatory). It is confusing for children to give cards to classmates that they do not know, have special feelings for, or like. After all, the goal is to teach children to be giving to those whom they care about. However, this situation presents an opportunity for parents to teach their children about tolerance and appreciation for the differences among their classmates.
Encouraging Children to make Cards and Gifts
One way that parents can address the effects of widespread commercialism of the holiday on their children is to encourage them to make Valentine’s Day cards and gifts. This is also a great way for parents to spend valuable time with their children.
Host a Valentine’s Day Party
What can be more fun than a party? Parents can host a Valentines Day party for their children’s friends. Their children can help plan and set up for the party. The party could include playing games, making Valentine’s Day cards, and serving delicious foods.
Valentines Day is not just a day that lovers can celebrate their romantic feelings for one another. It is a day of love because people can express their admiration and affection for anyone. Parents can use this day to teach their children how to become more loving, accepting, and tolerant human beings.