Can we just agree that a little girl giving her daddy a Valentine's card is a bit creepy.
This week playgroups, preschools, and nurseries across the globe were having their usual themed crafts, which in all likelihood involved making Valentine's Day cards. I didn't think much of it. I figured these cards would be given to the parent who wasn't there, from their partner that was.
Contrary to my assumption, at the playgroups I went to, many children (well, only girls) were being encouraged by mothers to make cards for their fathers. The thought of getting a Valentine's Day card from my daughter makes my skin crawl.
Valentine's Day is one of two things. It is either a cynical marketing opportunity to sell themed cards, chocolates, lingerie, and even ready meals ('Give your Valentine a night off cooking with a special Macaroni Cheese'). Or it's a day to celebrate love with your partner, a partner to be, or just a good old fashioned secret admirer.
Valentine's Day is a time for lovers, and a time for retailers to exploit that love. It is not a time for parents and children to express their very different love for each other.
While there is an argument against children 'celebrating' Valentine's Day, because it's asking them to grow up too soon, it's also true the role playing adult scenarios is an important part of our children's development. The desire for a partner, who is more than a friend, is an important concept for them to understand. It's how they came to be after all.
I also remember getting cards as a child from secret admirers who I still have no idea about. It almost remains my purest experience of the day. Who's heart wouldn't be sent aflutter with a note from a secret admirer? Valentine's Day is a day for love, but romantic love, which is to say that heady, intoxicating combination of love and desire.
"Valentine's Day is a time for lovers"
Remember the song Somethin' Stupid? It's a catchy duet about someone lamenting their missed opportunity of getting a date into bed by saying Somethin' Stupid' (Like I Love You). If you're younger than me, perhaps you know the Robbie Williams & Nicole Kidman version. That was a fun rendition of a cute song.
However, it's more famous for it's frankly creepy version, which was a duet between Frank Sinatra and his daughter Nancy.
Have a listen.
It's also fairly creepy when sung by Nancy Sinatra and her brother, Frank Jr. Take a look.
It's really NOT cute to have a father and daughter, or brother and sister, pretending to sing about a sexual attraction to each other. It's gross. That's why this song referred to as The Incest Song.
Let's not teach our children that our love for them is the same as our love for our partners. It's not better, not lesser. Just different. And they need to learn the difference.
What do you think about getting a Valentine's Day card from your child? Cute? Or creepy?
Originally published on Man vs. Pink as Valentine's Day is for Lovers and Retailers, Not Parents and Children