Valentine's Day is, according to wikipedia, an annual holiday held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions.
To me it is just another popularity contest to see who is in and who is out. A reason to make some people feel good and another swift, hard kick in the guts to others.
What has prompted my cynical post? Another blog in which a ban put in place at a school in England is discussed. A lot of the general comment concensus is "Meh, life is full of rejection, kids need to learn to deal with it. Toughen up the delicate little petals."
I agree. We can shield them too much. But we also need to realise that the innocence of childhood is diminishing rapidly. The technological era means children are being sexualised far earlier, and kids are trying to deal with sexual innuendo and adult concepts at ridiculously young ages.
In Australia, our suicide rate of young men surpasses EVERY other country in the world! How tragic is that? Now, I am not saying that celebrating Valentine's Day in primary school is a causal effect, but surely we should be building confidence and self-awareness in a positive way at this age (talking the 6 to 13 age groups)? Promoting inclusion and friendship, bonds and support? Not who got how many cards and from who? Who got NONE?
I know, I come at this from an angle of a mother of a child on the autism spectrum. But I am also the mother of another son who is struggling to find his place in the world. Who worries far more about appearing cool and fitting in. Who would see the lack of a Valentine as a crushing blow and a personal failure.
As a mother I want my boys to be confident, assured young men. Able to cope with rejection and the pain of real life, but to do so they need to have the maturity and emotional strength which comes with GROWING UP. Not with growing up too soon. They are kids. We need to LET THEM BE KIDS...