Can kids celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Can kids celebrate Valentine's Day?

Can kids celebrate Valentine’s Day?


Can kids celebrate Valentine's Day?

Can kids celebrate Valentine’s Day? “I’m going to teach [my daughter] Valentine’s Day is like you show love to others every other day,” says one mom, “except that some people choose to show love on this day by exchanging gifts. (Photo: Getty Creative)

Valentine’s Day means something different to everyone, but most would agree that the holiday is traditionally used to celebrate romantic love.

Still, with pink and red hearts and bright candy boxes covering stores across the globe, it’s no surprise that kids are hungry for fun in preparation for the day. But is Valentine’s Day something for kids to celebrate?

Is the holiday season of hearts and flowers cute and harmless? Or, are some V-Day celebrations objective and inappropriate?

Christine Michel Carter, a single mother and author from Baltimore, Maryland, said that instead of focusing on romance, she saw Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to teach her children about love and respect, and to debunk gender roles.

“I believe it’s important to teach my kids how to treat people they care about,” shared Michelle Carter, “and not just from a romantic standpoint.”

To that end, Michelle Carter developed her own version of the holiday to celebrate with her children: “Valentine’s Day”. On “Valentine’s Day,” Michelle Carter treats her kids to a fancy restaurant, which she describes as a fun way to teach them etiquette and behavior in fancy venues. She also stressed to her children that these experiences are not limited to romantic partners of the opposite sex.

“I want to debunk gender roles and show my kids that a woman can pay for a good meal,” she said. “As the mother of a straight son and a non-binary pansexual tween girl, this is especially important to me.”

With a little planning, Valentine’s Day can be a sweet celebration for all ages, says Pareen Sehat, clinical consultant at Well Beings Counseling in Vancouver, Canada.

“Whether these people are seniors or teenagers, this day should be celebrated,” Sehat told Yahoo Life. “This holiday is totally fine because it’s a celebration of love. Valentine’s Day is an all-encompassing day that doesn’t discriminate between a partner’s gender.”

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Abby Anoff lives in the UK and blogs about parenting at Kin Unplugged. Anoff said that while her children, a 3-year-old daughter and a 6-month-old son, may still be young, she has planned how to share Valentine’s Day with them as they grow up.

“I for mine [daughter] celebrate [Valentine’s Day] Because at her age, I can control the narrative,” Arnoff said. “This year, I’m going to tell her that Valentine’s Day is about showing love to others, just like you do every other day, except some people choose to exchange Gifts symbolize that love on this day. “

From a young age, Arnoff said, she showed her daughter and son that Valentine’s Day represented all kinds of love. “It’s important that they know that this display of love is not based solely on gender or romance,” she explained.

But while parents and experts agree that Valentine’s Day can be harmless fun or even an opportunity to teach kids something new, many aren’t thrilled with the day’s stereotypes and expectations due to places like the kids’ clothing zone or Candy aisle.

“I believe that stereotypes like ‘female killer’ and ‘heartbreak’ add negative connotations to an eventful day,” Sehat said. “In a patriarchal society, these terms can damage an individual’s perspective because every time a girl says ‘no,’ they feel their ego is in danger.”

Elizabeth Hicks, a mother of two and co-founder of Parenting Nerd, said that while she supports children celebrating the holidays, she agrees it’s time for some gender-specific stereotypes to end. She finds that having open, honest, and age-appropriate conversations is a great way to dispel these negative tropes.

“Having any kind of conversation with your child is a challenge in itself, especially one that revolves around love, sex and consent,” Hicks said. “The best way is to be direct and use your own life experience to set an example.”

Sehat agrees. “Every parent should have an age-appropriate conversation with their child about boundaries, consent and romantic love,” she said.

While changing the way you celebrate Valentine’s Day at home may seem like a lot of preparation for the day, Hicks reminds parents that the day is a small holiday that draws attention to the bigger picture: romance and platonic love Valentine’s Day celebrations are an important part of our human experience and should be talked about with children no matter what day of the year it is.

“Dating is a major aspect of our lives that everyone has to go through once in their lifetime,” Hicks said. “Valentine’s Day is an important celebration of love, and I believe everyone should be involved in it.”

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