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What do you think about schools that are changing or banning traditional Valentine's Day celebrations?

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Schools Replace Valentine's Day With Friendship Parties & Where's the Fun in That?

Posted by Ericka Sóuter on February 14, 2013

A lot of things have changed since the time we were kids. There are about a million cable channels, cartoons on 24 hours a day, and don't get me started on iPads so user-friendly toddlers own them. But some things have changed that I never thought would. Specifically, Valentine's Day. These days, traditional Valentine's celebrations are being replaced with "Friendship Parties" in some schools and others are even banning the festivities completely.

For some kids, gone are the days of buying those cute little Snoopy or Spider-Man Valentine's cards, then filling them out for each kid in the class. I remember being so excited about handing them out and getting a stack of my own in return. Some years, the teacher would ask us to bring in shoe boxes to decorate with hearts and things in order to collect our cupid-inspired haul.

But this year, 24 schools across the country are experimenting with Friendship Parties instead. The goal is to encourage kids to be good to their friends and talk about caring and sharing. They still acknowledge that it is Valentine's Day, said one principal, but they make the day about recognizing each other as friends and how we should treat our friends.

I think that is a very wonderful and admirable notion -- but isn't that something schools should be encouraging every day anyway? I like the idea of an old-fashioned Valentine's party with the room decorated with red hearts and heart-shaped cookies and candy treats being passed around. Not because it encourages romance or love, per se. It's just a fun, colorful, and sweet holiday to share with our kids.

But I have to say, these friendship parties are better than nothing. There are some schools that don't even acknowledge the day at all. My son is in one of them. They actually don't celebrate any holiday there. When I first heard this, I was totally taken by surprise. My heart ached a little knowing that he would never walk in the door with a card he made for mommy for Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, or Christmas. In every other way, it is the perfect place for little kids to learn and grow. But in the end, I realized that just because a school doesn't do it doesn't mean we can't celebrate the day ourselves. So when these holidays come around, we put on our own cookie decorating party and invite his classmates over. It may not be as great as the school parties that I remember, but it still makes the day special for him.

What do you think about schools that are changing or banning traditional Valentine's Day celebrations?

by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 3:37 PM
Replies (31-40):
by Gold Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 6:15 PM


Quoting LucyHarper:

I'm confused on why they would find it necessary to make a change, since thats basically what it is in schools anyway. Its not like the children are exchanging valentines because they are romantically involved with each other.

 my dd was getting marriage proposals everyday from this boy. he has stopped but he still looks at her funny. shes so not interested in him. lol.

and i totally agree. there are many ways to "love" someone. friendship love is still about caring and sharing. Valentines day is sweet. i dont like, in lack of a better prase "dumbing down" things to kids. age appropriate fine and you can make Valentines Day age approiate and not let any kid feel left out.

by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 6:24 PM

It really depends on the change, IMO. Like the friendship parties? If they keep the basic celebration (the cards and hearts and such), then I don't see an issue with making it about how we treat friends. 

Some changes can be good, especially when you can keep the core memory. It makes continuance, gives us something to share with our children. Other changes, not so much. It really depends on WHAT change, WHY, and HOW.

by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 6:35 PM

I feel that they should let children have Valentine Parties and exchange cards. I know when I was growing up we had them. I know some childrend did not get any but I always gave everyone in my class a card.  There are some children who may not get anything from someone for whatever reason and this way everyone can celebrate. They may not have a nice home life and this may be special for them. The teacher should also make sure that everyone gets a card.  Let children be children

by Anonymous 7 on Feb. 14, 2013 at 6:40 PM

So Sad that they have taken the innocent fun out of everything now.....I'll take my childhood any day!!!!

by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 6:40 PM

I think they should let the kids have a party, regardless of it is Valentines or Friendship. My kids are both in elementary school and they had a great time today. No kid is left out, we got a class list with all of their names on it so that the all the kids could participate. 

by Ruby Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 6:42 PM
There's already a friendship day holiday in August I think schools are getting stupid and it makes me afraid to send my kids there
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by Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 6:43 PM

So what.  Is valentine's day really for kids any way?

by Anonymous 8 on Feb. 14, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Quoting Anonymous:

When I was a kid, we didnt have an obesity epidemic and our academic standards werent pathetic. Kids are getting fatter and dumber every year. Until that changes, more focus needs to be put on education and less on social nuances like school parties

Quoting MrS.GiFFord:

Did you think that way as a kid too?

Quoting Anonymous:

I dont see the point of parties at school. School should be for learning, period.

 LOL Touche...

by Anonymous 9 on Feb. 14, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Parties at school are fun! Part of school is social interaction. You need to occasionally let loose to be able to concentrate anyways.

As far as banning parties because some kids don't get Valentines, I think we are a little too ridiculous about kids' feelings being hurt. That's life. It's not fair, people can be mean, not everyone likes everyone else. Why do we insist on sheltering kids from how the world really works?

by Silver Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 7:03 PM

I couldn't care less. 

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