It may make you cringe.
It may make you wince.
But Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year.
When children are young, it is thought to best avoid encouraging romantic attachments, which I would agree with – there is plenty of time for that later in life!
However, especially as Valentine’s Day is one of those days that is seized upon by many commercial companies I would imagine your child can’t help but notice the red love hearts in the shop window, or the special offer on pink and frilly greeting cards in the supermarket.
As always, this may open up an opportunity for a teachable moment.
Rather than ranting about the over-commercialisation of the season, or dismissing questions asked by innocent minds about love or Valentine’s Day, it could be a good opportunity to begin to form your child’s understanding of what love actually is.
Is it about the chocolates, the love hearts or Valentine’s Day?
How important is it to have a ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’? Or should we be valuing ourselves for who we are?
Is love about the ‘stuff’ you get given or give? Is it about the ‘fuzzy feelings’ or is it something deeper?
What is love?
I would say love is a:
- Decision – you decide to love, despite the circumstances or your feelings
- Verb – love is what you DO more than it is about what you say or feel.
So enjoy Valentines Day and if the opportunity arises, have that conversation with your child about the meaning of real love.