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Parenting Q&A: Is Valentine's an Appropriate Holiday For Kids?

Parenting Q&A: Is Valentine's an Appropriate Holiday For Kids?

At some point in life, every mom faces a parenting dilemma and more often than not it's in the first few years of her offspring's life. Suddenly, getting your child to eat more than just carbohydrates or stopping them from throwing fits seems easier said than done. So we've enlisted parenting expert and Montessori school director, Lonna Corder, to answer your questions this week! She's been doling out advice for 25 years as a teacher, parent/child consultant and on television.

Q. Last year a little boy in my son’s preschool class gave a girl classmate a very expensive Valentine on his own accord. Do you thinks it’s appropriate for such young children to partake in this affectionate holiday?

To see Lonna's answer,


A. Here’s the news about Valentine's Day and preschool; it’s the new Halloween. The holiday is already ramped up. Unless the four-year-old boy drives and has his own credit card, an adult purchased the gift for the little girl. This is between the adults, not the child. I would recommend the girl’s mom allow her daughter to accept the gift, write a thank you card and give it very little attention. If her mom reacts negatively, her daughter will be embarrassed and perhaps seek such affection from boys in later years when she wants to drive mom crazy (around, say twelve-years-old).

Mom can say something like, “Valentine’s Day is a time your friends let you know they care about you, Johnny put a lot of time into that. You will need to thank him”. Mom should not use labels like "love" or "boyfriend". However, it is inappropriate Valentine and a kind phone call to the boy’s mom letting her know that the sentiment is very dear, but too much too soon is in order.

— Lonna Corder

For more information on Lonna, check out

If you're at your wit's end about an issue and want another take on the situation, private message your question to lilsugar. We'll be running this feature all week!


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crystalvillage06 crystalvillage06 8 years
I am not understanding the concern here. My 4 year old son is giving valentines cards and candy to everyone in his class. The class is also having a little valentine party. I thought children always celebrated this holiday?
MissSushi MissSushi 8 years
Um.. hello?! Valentines day has ALWAYS been celebrated by kids.. its just now a days that they are taking all holiday celebration out of school, and everything is being blown out of proportion and shown as "taboo" Kids used to buy valentine cards, address them to each student, add small candies and the like, and then they would all pass them out and have a nice little party... EVERY SINGLE YEAR.
sham28 sham28 8 years
This is harmless, I can't stand it when parents have panic attacks over cute gestures and rituals. Is Easter really about Christ rising from the dead for children? NO! It's about bunnies and jelly beans? Let them celebrate friendship, happiness, and their innocent understanding of 'love' (mommy/ dayddy and friends). The only thing I would impress upon them is that like birthdays at school, if you bring in something for one person it's generally good to bring something for everyone else.
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