Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day Family Traditions

I heard a lot of people this week say they aren't celebrating Valentine's Day because it's a "Hallmark" holiday, meaning retailers created the holiday to make money. While that has some truth to it, I wanted to know what kind of an impact that negative attitude has on kids.

I know my four-year-old really looks forward to every holiday. I don't remember a lot of family traditions growing up, by my husband has a great memory and knows every detail of his traditions. I am so glad because my son really loves traditions. He woke up this morning and told me Happy Valentine's Day! He was so beyond excited for his Valentine's Day party at school. He showed me every card he got. He jumped up and down when my husband and I gave him some Car's pajamas and Sponge Bob shaped candy.

Clinical Psychologist Dr. John Day said,"Any type of holiday traditions, like birthdays does impact children. I think all of us remember back to our own childhoods, certain traditions Christmas Eve and Easter. I think Valentines' Day is the same thing. I think there's a sense of family identity that goes along with that. I think it's very important to have those traditions, to build them in the more the better."

Dr. Day said kids like having something to look forward to. He said they like traditions because it makes the family unit that much stronger. He said it's critically important in terms of family life and family development to build traditions and carry them on to the next generation. He said, "It really is kind of an identifier for families, a sense of belonging, reassurance that everything's okay. It's Valentine's Day and we're going to have a box of chocolates or we're gonna have roses on the table or whatever. It's more than just blood relationships of kids to parents. I think that traditions are the part of the behavior that cement that and allow the family to identify itself as "the Smith family.""

I used to roll my eyes at family traditions, but now that I have kids, things have changed. How do you feel about family traditions?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


Jennifer said...

We have so many family traditions and it's wonderful. Some holiday related, but many, not. For example, every fall we go to a cornmaze, toting flashlights and licorice. We still carve pumpkins and hide Easter eggs, even though the kids are teenagers. The traditions have evolved, for example, the eggs tend to have a bit of cash in them, but it's still fun.
It's sad that some people downplay Valentine's Day, because it's a fun holiday to celebrate and really doesn't require spending money on traditional V-day stuff. We will have a special dinner tonight and celebrate by taking time out to play board games on a school night.

Eyebrows McGee said...

I love family traditions generally.

As for V-day, I've always thought it was a kids' holiday. Fun, but for the kiddies, with the cute little cards and the school parties and the candy. I find it fairly amusing when adults get themselves all worked up over it and stake their relationships on whether a (yes) Hallmark holiday fulfills their dreams.

*MY* Valentine's Day dreams involve getting Cookie Monster cards from small children that say things like "you're sweeter than cookies," so I am rarely disappointed. :)

steven edward streight said...

With all the school shootings and violent sadistic video games and films, I'm glad we have one day a yer when compassion and fondness is the theme.

Valentines Day is a holiday based on love, caring, affection. Celebrate it with your kids, for we need a softer, more gentle world.

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