I despise the whole Valentine's Day thing, always have but the total hatred came when my first born was in kindergarten. My husband and I never really celebrated the day as anything more special than any other day during our love life. We might have gone out to eat but nothing more than Taco Bell...
I grew up in France, the land of love. I learnt that loving someone didn't mean to shower them in pink gifts and cheap chocolate or vice versa. I rarely if never heard my father say the words but his actions and sacrifices were enough. I knew he loved my mother,she knew he loved her and demonstrated it in some way every single day of the year, of his life.
Anyway, when my son was in kindergarten and Valentine's Day came along, he brought home a list with the names of the children in his class and told me we had to get valentines for each of these children and the teacher. They were to have a party and they would exchange their cards. I was baffled.
First Valentine's Day is a romantic "holiday" meant for lovers, TWO people who are in love with each other. What place would that have in kindergarten with 5 yos??
Second, what are we teaching our children when we make them give sweet loving cards to other kids who may have been ugly to them for the past 6 months??? We are NOT teaching them love and forgiveness, we are however teaching them that it is both ok to be a doormat and to be a bully. If the bullies or mean kids, who didn't deserve a nice card were left out maybe they would be more careful the next year! And maybe if we didn't make our kids give cards to bullies, they would know that we care and that they can stand for themselves and say NOPE I don't think so!
Ask a woman who has been beat up to give her attacker anything but hatred and see if she smiles and says oh ok...
Third, I have never been in love with my grandmother or aunt or whomever else Hallmark is trying to coerce me into buying a card for. I love my friends and family dearly but come on! They have a birthday, right???
Did I say I despised Valentine's Day?
And of course my hatred for silly Valentine's card exchange in a kindergarten class was totally trampled by little kids soccer games and tournaments... (And it is way beyond parents attitude at games!)
How do we build winners??? We teach them to lose, or rather teach them that losing is a part of the game and a part of life.
You work hard, you win and you are rewarded. The thought of victory make people challenge themselves. The prize that comes from all the hours training and the sacrifices. And losing reinforces the desire to work harder to win.
When I was a kid, I played soccer. Number one team got one big trophy for the team and a smaller one for each kid on that team. The second team won medals or smaller trophies etc.
But if your team sucked, you got nothing. That's how it goes. The following year, you would try harder.
So imagine my confusion when all the kids of all the teams won the exact same thing??? What is the point???? And it is not just a game, it is a teaching tool.
Kids can either walk around the field picking up flowers, skip practice or put their heart in the game, work hard and the result is the same! Why would they push themselves???
Grrrrr it is not teaching the kids anything!!
We, as parents, are failing our kids.
Most Kids these days are passive, have no goals, no clue how to tackle a challenge, think that everything will be ok because in the end they will still get a prize, we are making them lazy and submissive.
And the lack of motivation and dreams have brought on a dangerously rising problem around pre-teens and teenagers, boredom and depression.
My boys know how I feel, they know that the Valentines and the trophies aren't real life and I hope that through my rents and my constant nagging ( " ain't" isn't allowed in this house, eat with your mouth closed and no you aren't getting a gift on your brother's birthday )I have given them the proper tools to rise above their generation.
A very very weak generation without strong and fearless leaders...