Friday, February 13, 2009

Should kids care about Valentine's Day?

As I picked my 4-year-old up from preschool yesterday, I asked her teacher whether the class would be doing anything for Valentine's Day and was surprised when she told me that she's not allowed to plan anything for them.

"If parents want to send in cards or treats, we can't stop them from doing that," she told me apologetically, "but we're not supposed to do anything ourselves."

Now, I don't think of Valentine's Day as a religious holiday, and I do see the point in trying to prevent kids from getting their feelings hurt ("Jimmy gave Cathy a card but not me! Waaaaaa!"), but avoiding it entirely? Why?

A few teachers have weighed in on this discussion over at my parenting blog at The competition among kids -- and their parents -- can be fierce, one points out; there is a concern about allergies and homemade treats, another mentions. But what about using the opportunity to teach kids about friendship or community service?

What do you think? Should kids care about Valentine's Day?

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