Around the end of January or beginning of February each year, you begin to hear people talk about how they hate Valentine’s Day. Jaded singles who haven’t yet found lasting love as well as couples who are tired of the pressure of the holiday often denounce the day. Others simply state that they love their special someone all year and don’t need a specific holiday to show that person how they feel. Regardless of how you feel about this day as an adult, it is important to understand the pressure that teens and tweens can feel too.
The Teen Challenge
As a parent of a tween or teen, you may be aware that some kids seem to have that magnetic quality that attracts the opposite sex at an early age, and this can stay with them for decades. Others, however, seem to struggle with love right from the start. Most teens and tweens feel the same pressure to create some big romantic day for someone they love, and others have the expectation that they will learn about a secret admirer or the day will in some way be amazing and romantic for them.
The Reality of the Situation
The fact is that some teens and tweens really do get into the day, just as some adults do. Some boys and girls alike want to take this opportunity to tell someone how they feel, and they may want to do it quietly or in a grand way. As a parent, you can talk to them and get a feel for what they have planned a few days or weeks beforehand. Make sure that they know your question is not an expectation, but you are available to help if they need assistance with anything.
On the other hand, some kids may be waiting for something special to happen to them. It is important that you work with your child to set reasonable expectations. Even children with that magnetic quality will often be disappointed on this day. As an adult, you know that Valentine’s Day rarely lives up to your expectations, and you don’t want to see your child heartbroken. It is best to be pleasantly surprised than sorely disappointed. Talk to your teen or tween about how much pressure others may feel on this day, and that even if someone else likes them, they still may be too embarrassed or unsure to act on those feelings. Let your child know that eventually things will work out as they are supposed to, but it may not always happen on one specific day of the year.
The idea behind Valentine’s Day may be a good one, but the truth is that many people feel disappointed and even resentful on this day. As a parent, you can help your teen or tween through this day by assisting with plans and setting appropriate expectations.
Here are a few other articles written by this author:
How Positive is Your Parenting?
Helping Your Kids Through Fights with Friends
Kids and Friend Drama: When to Step In