What is Love? Celebrating Valentine's Day with Kids

In my elementary school days we would spend the week before Valentines day making mail boxes for our desks to provide a space for all of our classmates to put the Valentine cards that we would all bring to school on Valentine's Day.  I remember how cool it was when Scooby Doo came out with Valentine cards but those were pretty expensive.  So, for the most part there were red hearts made out of construction paper pasted onto a small white doily with a glue stick.

When my kids were in elementary school there were some Valentine celebrations and exchanges of cards which typically involved candy.  

But today I was in a megastore with my 15 year old and he was a little bothered by something.  We were checking out the movie section and there was a section for Valentine's movies.  There was a section marked Valentine movies for him - Valentine movies for her - and Valentine movies for kids.  He thought the selections in the For Him and For Her were weird enough but even weirder that there was a Valentine movie section for kids.  He thought it was bad enough that young girls have body issues because of media images but now kids are being exposed to how "love" is supposed to be and that they should be in a relationship.  

Valentine's Day is at it's core a day to celebrate romantic love.  It is promoted by florists, card makers, chocolate companies, and Hollywood to be the most romantic day of the year.  This can be a confusing message for our kids.  We teach our kids to love one another and love our neighbors as ourselves and so Valentine's Day is a natural day to celebrate the symbols of love.  Just make sure to sit down with your kids and watch the Valentine themed movies they want to watch with them so that they can hear it directly from you what all of this means.

Then the most important thing to remember is that no matter what media throws the way of our kids they will get the most important message about what love is from watching us.  When Mom and Dad are kind and loving to each other it is not only a nice thing for Mom and Dad it is also the best Valentine's Day gift we can give our kids.  Showing them (not telling them) how people who love each other treat each other.

Happy Valentine's Day! 


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