Valentines at School Spread Hate Not Love?? How do you feel about Valentine parties?
by Mary Fischer
Ugh. Valentine's Day. The older I get, the more I loathe the whole idea of it. Want to know why? Because while there are people who are all giddy and happy spending that day with the one they love, plenty of others wind up feeling alone, lost -- and with their feelings really hurt.
Especially kids. I know it's kind of a big tradition to have a party at school and pass out Valentine cards to all their friends, but doing so totally has the potential to backfire and make certain children feel upset and pretty craptastic.
Let me explain.
I will never (EVER) forget the class Valentine's Day party I had when I was somewhere around the fourth grade. We all brought in our cute little shoe boxes covered with wrapping paper, and then we were instructed to drop cards for all of our classmates in their boxes before coming back to read the ones we received.
And as I sat there opening my little envelopes, I heard a boy in my class say to his friend, "Ewww! This one's from MARY." And then he proceeded to rip it up as he sat there rolling his eyes and giggling with the other kid. Considering I'm now 36 and still have that moment burned into my brain, it's obvious that it had a pretty negative effect on my feelings.
See what I mean? Passing out Valentines basically gives kids an excuse to be mean to others.
Oh, and just the other day, when my son was putting his together, I noticed one he'd made for a kid in his class who is always teasing him and giving him grief. He wrote his name in teeny-tiny letters on the card, almost to make it obvious that he did not want to give this kid a Valentine, but had to because the rules state that everyone in the class must receive cards.
He went along with it, but I know offering a token of friendship to this kid will make him feel pretty awkward, considering how the little brat has treated him.
Yep. I'm thinking schools should just do away with Valentine parties altogether -- because there's really no other way to ensure that someone doesn't wind up sad and devastated on what is supposed to be the most love-filled day of the year.
Kids are mean enough to each other as it is without giving them an extra avenue to go about it.
How do you feel about Valentine parties?