Valentine’s Day is a fun very Americanized holiday that gives us an opportunity to celebrate the one we love. Of course not everyone partakes in this particular celebration. In addition to features and articles on how to have a wonderful V-day, magazines and talk shows often offer advice to members of the lonely hearts club. The positive side of being single is celebrated. These features are usually focused on adults.
Valentine’s day may be more important to your teen than you realize. Many schools and organizations use the day as a way to raise money. I remember in my own high school we could send a flower and card. Of course this instantly became a popularity contest. We rushed to send flowers to our friends who sent one back to prove their allegiance to us. On occasion a friend would give and receive one from a boyfriend. Even more rarely a crush would take the daring measure of sending a flower and a note. Romances were made and broken on Valentine’s Day. Some things don’t change.
If your teen seems less than happy as the big day approaches, don’t be surprised. If your teen has experienced a recent break up, her case of the blahs may appear more obvious. Don’t however underestimate the romantic side of your teen. If your teen is single, Valentine’s Day can be a reminder of his status in The Lonely Hearts Club. The situation can be especially difficult if his friends can boast significant others.
As parents it is easy to overlook the impact of feeling alone on Valentine’s Day, after all, your teen has her whole life ahead of her. Think back however, to your own teen years and you may understand why the mere suggestion of this to your teen could feel invalidating and insensitive.
Thankfully Valentine’s Day only lasts 24 hours. Since your teen tends to live in the moment once it passes he will probably be back to his old self. You want your teen to be happy. It is hard to acknowledge that any day could cause them to feel wistful, lonely, or in some cases sad. So while there may not be much you can do to change her romantic status, here are a few hints on how to at least turn her frown upside down.
1.) A card and a box of chocolates may help start her day off right. Let her know how much you love her and how proud she makes you.
2.) Avoid sending flowers. Giving her a pretty bouquet is on thing, but the initial excitement of receiving flowers can easily turn to disappointment and embarrassment when she realizes the sentiments come from her parents.
3.) If you know his school is having some sort of Valentine’s Day fundraiser which entails sending something, avoid asking him if he plans to participate. If he wants to tell you he will.
4.) If she seems to be experiencing the blahs offer her comfort. It’s okay to acknowledge that being alone on Valentine’s Day can be tough. If she shuts you down, let it go. Just the fact that you have validated what she is feeling inside may be empowering enough.
Being a member of the Lonely Hearts Club is hard no matter how old you are. Valentine’s Day may be more difficult for your teen than realize. Luckily the holiday lasts a day. There is always the hope that next year will be better. In the mean time, a little comfort and caring can go a long way. Your big heart means more than you may realize.