Valentines

valentineI’ve seen this topic on quite a few blogs and it was on an afternoon talk show yesterday.  Who should your kids give Valentines to?Should they be given to the whole class?  Here’s a little article I found on it if your interested.

I feel if the kids are very young, they should give them to the whole class.  Some teachers prefer that they not be “To” anyone but the “From” should have your child’s name on it. That way if a child feels “nervous” about giving one to someone they’d rather not, it doesn’t really feel like they are if they just drop them in a box or in bags.

I’m not sure why this is but Trinity (she’s eight) is very….I’m not sure what word to use.  She doesn’t want to give any to the boys. She’s brought it up to me twice now.  But she says they have to give them to the whole class. I’ve got a couple of theories and the one I keep coming back to is that she must like “one” boy and feels funny giving one to him.  You know how kids think.  I asked her how she’d feel though if someone didn’t get many Valentines and someone got a whole pile, wouldn’t you feel bad for that kid?   If you give one to everyone, it’s more “fair.”  She said she would feel bad and she would give to everyone (because she has to).  

valentine2I know that this “holiday” has really changed since I gave them to my classmates.  We took forever to pick out the right “box” and sign them all.  I can actually remember sitting at our kitchen table and going down the list and checking the names off as I addressed the cards so we must have been encouraged to give to the whole class too.  When my boys were in elementary school, they also gave one to everyone.  At least they were told to.  I might hear differently now!!

But I do remember one year when the kids sold flowers at lunchtime and since I was the lunch-lady, I was there.  Jason bought a flower for a little girl he hardly knew because he felt bad for her because she wasn’t getting any.  I know, he was sweet although he doesn’t like the world to know it!!  Toby, he wouldn’t waste his money on that kind of thing so he didn’t buy a single one. He just didn’t care.

So this leads to popularity.  Is this day all about that?  Are we setting up the “less popular” to feel bad?  Or should we use this as a lesson about life?  That life isn’t always fair and things do happen that we won’t like but we just have to accept things even though “they aren’t fair.”

I don’t mean to sound unfeeling or make it sound like I’m a bad a$$ but I just always felt that lessons come upon us and it might be a good opportunity to explain things like this.  Yes, it hurt our feelings but there are many times in life our feelings get hurt but we have to learn from them and  try not to hurt others feelings.

I don’t know.  How did/do you handle this?  Is your child giving to all?  To none?  Should we protect our kids a all costs and not participate?????  What’s you opinion???valentine3

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9 Responses to Valentines

  1. Doraz says:

    Well,just tonight I was speaking to my friends little 6 year old daughter.
    She was writing out Valentine Day cards. Her class was to sign them only and have one for each child. She was also giving them pixy sticks. Then she had a few “special” ones she was also giving to her “special” friends.They got the “good” candy! As far as children having learning experiences along the way…I agree.Life ain’t easy. The sooner they see this. the better!

  2. SKL says:

    I’m a scrooge. Does Valentine’s Day have any real meaning to a young child? I’d rather not have to deal with it at all. But if I do, then I feel it is best to give to the whole class, the same thing.

    When we were kids, we used to address the cards, so we could pick which message / picture went to whom. So a boy we thought was yucky would get a generic message while someone we really liked could get a more friendly one. I stopped liking them as I got into upper elementary, because it felt stupid asking everyone, girls and boys, to be my valentine.

    My kids are 2 and they have already received 3 valentines with packs of candy attached. Their nanny has something planned for tomorrow, too. I’d really rather people not give my kids sweets! I don’t eat them either, so I don’t even know what to do with them. If people must exchange something, how about a small and useful item, like a pencil or small toy? Am I alone on this?

  3. mssc54 says:

    First of all, every guy recognises that Valentines Day is a completely made up “Holiday”, created by the retail industry to put something in between Christmas and the and St. Patrick’s Day!

    Our little four year old son came home with a note last week. “On Thursday, February 12th we will be celebrating “Friendship Day. We have provided a list of the children in the class. Please cut out each picture and glue to the Valentines Day card.”

    In his book bag was a sheet of paper with each child’s picture printed on it. Under each picture was a number like “DL00020”. No names of the children just numbers and a picture of their face.

    Give me a friggn break!

  4. Laura (LS) says:

    Wow…. so many issues, so little time.

    First off, the “popularity” thing. No matter how teachers, administration and parents try, there will be popular kids, there will be nerds, and everything in between. Life isn’t “The Sneeches” acted out, kids will always find a way to mark those different from themselves. Otherwise we’d all be living in that Twilight Zone where everyone looked alike. (geez, I’m starting to ramble already) So when Hot Rod came home with the note that said, “please address one Valentine to each student”, we sat down with his box of Cars Valentines, and I used it as writing practice. I also turned it into a lesson on friendship. “But I don’t really like that boy,” was turned into “Do unto others”… “no, you don’t really like him, but Valentine’s Day is about being nice to people, and you want him to be nice to you, so shouldn’t you be nice to him?”

    The whole “one for everyone so nobody feels unpopular” is faulty, because those kids who are not popular KNOW it, and they also know that this isn’t real sentiment, it’s an assignment.

    Second… I started getting the same irritation with Valentine’s Day as I have with Christmas when exchanging became compulsory. It’s as ridiculous for kids to ‘have to’ exchange Valentine’s Cards, as it is for my friend and I to exchange $20 Gift Cards at Christmas. It becomes meaningless… just another item on the piles of “valuable and keepsake” crap that now lines the walls of our living spaces.

    Finally, I agree with SKL when she says she felt ridiculous asking people she didn’t like to “be her valentine”… Used to be (back in the Good Ol’ Days, when we walked ten miles uphill both ways in 20 feet of snow, howling winds and scorching sun…), you asked ONLY those you felt a special connection with to be your Valentine.

    I understand, and sympathize, with the angst of those years when you know that you’re not the popular one. And I think that what your Jason did exemplifies the TRUE meaning of Valentine’s Day (if there is one) – he gave from his heart. And I’m sure that flower, to this day, is still special to that little girl.

  5. SKL says:

    About the popularity thing, I agree it is not helpful for schools to make a fake show of everyone liking everyone else. However, in the case of a valentine exchange held as part of the school day, I feel that if the school doesn’t require “all or nothing,” then the school is sponsoring / imposing unfriendliness on those who get left out. I don’t feel this is real life. In real life, you can choose not to go to the dance/party if you aren’t popular. In real life, we don’t all get periodically herded into a room where our popularity quotient is made public. We are left at peace to pursue those interests where we excel, and to avoid things we suck at. And also, the communication of “I/we don’t like you” is ideally more subtle. (And no, letting kids choose to sit out the school party doesn’t resolve my concern.)

    I also feel that a popularity contest of any kind is not age-appropriate for elementary-school kids – especially the youngest ones. It’s true that as we grow, we realize how popular we are/aren’t regardless of what the school does. But little kids don’t automatically think in those terms. If they are happy not being everyone’s favorite, let them be happy; don’t highlight it by having the kid at the next desk have 10x as many valentines. I have no problem with kids figuring these things out through “real life” experiences, but again, the classroom isn’t “real life” in my opinion.

  6. Just a Mom says:

    My 9 year old spent last weekend doing her Valentine cards. They give one to everyone in the class. Her biggest thing was picking out a card for each kid. Like SKL said above, a boy she didn’t like would just get a generic greeting.
    We also do carnations at our school. The money raised goes to a local homeless shelter. Because we are a small private school the parents that do buy the carnations usually buy one for everyone in the class.
    My 16 year old, she will just hand out candy to her friends. Her school, she goes to public school, does a carnation sale as well and that one is strictly a popularity contest!

  7. nikki says:

    Wow, Bailey hasn’t said anything about NOT giving any one person one. I let him do them all by himself, at his request. When he was done he’d mark with permanent marker over the name he had done already. So when he was done I couldn’t see the names. The number of cards and the number of students didn’t match. We tried to figure out who was missing. I think we got them all but he was VERY worried about it. Bailey is much like his dad. That is so cute that Jason did that. I don’t doubt it though one bit!! He is very thoughtful.
    I’m not sure how I feel about not giving to the ones you don’t really want to. I hope Bailey will never do that. That’s not to say that the kids who do do that are bad in any way. I think Trin has a crush maybe too. But I don’t talk to her about that stuff enough to know how she feels. I know she’s not doing it maliciously, there has to be a reason. This is something I have not had to deal with so I have no idea really!! I always gave to everyone as far as I can remember. I do have to say that Valentines cards are not what they used to be!!!!
    I know this holiday is made up and it is pretty much a Hallmark holiday but it’s fun for the kids and for those who don’t show their love like they should, it’s a good reminder!!

  8. Joy says:

    Just to clarify, Trin didn’t want to NOT give to any one person. She just felt “nervous” giving to the boys. She just wanted to give to the girls only. My thinking is, remember when you were young and you thought everyone was looking at you and watching you and in reality, nobody was??? I think she “may” like someone but thought he “might” know if she gave him one even though she gave one to all the boys??? I can’t make sense of it in words like this. Does anyone know what I mean??

    It all went well for her yesterday but did say she didn’t get one from everyone and Sue said maybe they didn’t participate and she said she saw them giving to some kids. So, it seems kids will still not follow the rules. I figures it happens.

  9. Sue says:

    That’s weird because she never told me she didn’t want to give to the boys. As soon as I had her cards she was filling them out even without the class list and she got them all. Sometimes I think she’s just being silly!

    We had to give to everyone, but it wasn’t like it is today. It use to be just a little card, but now if you don’t give a boatload of candy you’re the odd one out. I never did get why they were celebrating this holiday in school anyway!

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