Teens and Valentine’s Day
When I was in high school, cheerleaders sold flowers on Valentine’s Day for one dollar with notes attached to them from the sender. As a cheerleader, I’d deliver them to unsuspecting girls or guys during the last hour of school. There were squeals of joy from girls beaming that someone bought them a long-stemmed white or red carnation.
As a teacher in the same high school sporting the tradition years later, similar squeals were heard in my classroom when flowers were delivered. But just as noticeable was the silence of other kids. For a lot of teens, Valentine’s Day really sucks.
Teens in middle and high school want a romantic partner. Valentine’s Day accentuates the fact that not all teens have a boy or girlfriend. How can you help your teen survive the Valentine’s Day blues.
- Be sensitive to them. Valentine’s Day may not be a big deal for your teen. But if it is, be sensitive. Eighth graders through sophomores are emotionally and socially wired and things are magnified for them. If your teen doesn’t have a romantic interest, Valentine’s Day can be hard for them.
- Genuinely affirm them. Teens think romantic relationships fill a void in their lives. Teenagers are fragile, needing affirmation and love. Encourage your teens with positive affirmations. When teens receive affirmation and confidence from people they love, they aren’t so needy for the attention of a boy or girl.
- Write them a note. Send a note of affirmation to your teen on Valentine’s Day expressing the qualities you appreciate about them. Part of the Valentine’s Day “hoopla” is feeling special, loved, and affirmed. Be the person to do that for your teen.
- Take your teen out on a date. Dads, daughters need this from you. Make a point to take your daughter on a date for Valentine’s Day and make her feel special. You’re still the most important man in her life, even if she has a boyfriend. Moms, do the same for your son. As a mom of three teen boys, they appreciate this, too.
- Give perspective to romantic relationships in the life of your teen. Most teens won’t marry the person they date in high school, but they make crucial decisions about character, values and priorities in these relationships. Help your teen see the long-term effects of unhealthy romantic relationships in high school. Help them see that being single on Valentine’s Day isn’t the worst thing compared to the long-terms goals for their life.
What are ways you’ve helped your teen with the Valentine’s Day blues?