What are your memories of Valentine’s Day when you were younger?
From the discussions I’ve had recently with people I’ve come to the conclusion it’s a bit of a ‘marmite effect.’
As children and teens some said they enjoyed the anticipation of receiving the pile of cards, sweets or other tokens of ‘love’ from ‘secret admirers.’
And others absolutely dreaded it!
Those same feelings that children and young people feel today are no different and it falls into 2 of the most basic feelings:
If you were one of the people at school that had a pile of cards then you felt loved, wanted and popular.
But if you were lucky to get even one valentine (not including one from Mum – I’ll treasure those forever), then rejection, and disappointment ruled your day. Now that it’s become more commercialised, the pressure to send cards, gifts and other expensive items are even greater.
And for teens it can be equally troubling – the confusions of love and commitment to a boyfriend or girlfriend can lead to things their emotions and body are not yet ready for. Love is not lust or a quick fumble to regret later because “it’s Valentine’s!”
Remind children and young people in your family that it’s not about how many cards or gifts received but the love and appreciation for those closest to them. Talk openly about any anxieties they have to ‘conform’ or feel accepted.