Tomorrow is Valentines Day. Can you think back to a time in your childhood when you felt left out, especially on Valentines Day? Of course you received a box full of valentines from most, if not all, of your classmates. But you couldn’t help but feel a little jealous of the girl who got a box of chocolates or flowers along with her valentines.
In recent years schools have been bombarded with flowers and gifts for students on Valentines Day from sweethearts and from parents and relatives – which means once again the “haves” will shine while the “have nots” will do their best to maintain a happy face in spite of feeling left out.
How do we prepare our children for Valentines Day? Parents usually have some idea whether their children are likely to get the super-valentines or not. A little parental wisdom might be helpful whichever side of the fence the child is on.
The fortunate children can be taught to recognize that other children are hurting. They might find ways to “share the love.” Perhaps they could offer a piece of candy out of their box of chocolates to the friend who feels left out. Most importantly, they can show kindness rather than putting on airs of superiority.
But what can you do if your child is among the ones who are not likely to receive a super-valentine? You might share a time in your childhood when you were disappointed on Valentines Day. Let your child know these feelings are normal. You might also ask how many children received super-valentines, then compare that number to the number of children in the class. This might help your child to recognize that not receiving a super-valentine doesn’t make him/her strange, but very normal.
Above all, find a way to let your child or children know how special they are in your eyes. Serve a super-special supper on Valentines Day with their favorite foods and a desert that says “I love you” in its own way.
If for some reason you are unable to do something special on Valentines Day, you might plan something on an alternate day and let them look forward to it. But if the promise is made, it must be kept or the disappointment over Valentines Day will sting more profoundly than if you had ignored the day completely.
Suggestions for things to do with children on Valentines Day:
- Make homemade valentines and/or gifts for relatives. (click here for ideas)
- Bake a strawberry cake or serve strawberry shortcake.
- Visit a shut-in and give him/her a homemade valentine.
- Watch a Charlie Brown Valentines Day video.
- Visit the park or zoo if it is warm enough.
Enjoy your Valentines Day. Share the love of Christ with someone who may feel alone today.