And so it is February, the month of pink and red and Valentines.
There are two strong feelings surrounding this month. First is obviously the month to celebrate the relationship you’re in. If you find yourself lucky enough to have a significant other, then February is a time that you can really show them how much they are appreciated, and feel appreciated in return.
The second feeling is the dread of being reminded by every store, every student, every event, and every ad that you do not have a significant other yet. That once again (or maybe for the first time in a while) you’ll be celebrating valentines day alone. Some have even deemed it “singles appreciation month” or “forever alone day”.
Obviously, being on the happy side of this equation means you’re pretty much in the clear. But for students, whose feelings get hurt easily, and who are more susceptible to peer pressure, February and Valentines Day are painful reminders of inadequacy, unworthiness, being sub-par, and loneliness. Even if one is lucky enough to have a date, the date itself may be a disaster, thus resulting in a ruined valentines day.
One thing that is hard for parents to grasp is how serious this is. In a world of mortgages and office bullies, responsibilities and stress, not having a date on valentines day seems like nothing. But what you have to remember is that to your son or daughter, this may be big. It may be huge. Just because its not big in your eyes does not mean its not significant to your teen.
So, if your teen has plans for valentines day, be happy. Or, if your teen is genuinely not heartbroken about his/her relationship status this month, be happy. But if you see your teen feeling more down than usual, or making quips about being alone, perhaps you should take him/her out somewhere on the 14th this month. Take them out to eat, or to a movie, or a show. Let them know that it’s perfectly acceptable to celebrate ANY relationship on valentines day – not just the love interest ones. Celebrate your relationship as parent and child. It’ll be refreshing for both of you!