Valentine's Day...modeling love and generosity...

Whithin in the context of authentic play-based learning, we must think consciously about what lies beneath our special holiday traditions. Sometimes, despite the best of intentions, we have a momentary lapse of focus...we can mystake what is important to US with what is important for our children. We ask our children to do things for others because that's what is important to US...the adults!

Enter Valentine's Day!

Valentines day is a day in which we relish showing our love by doing special things for others. BUT...does directing a child to give something to someone else (such as a cute little card or candy) really teach them to love and be generous to others? I think not. It's just not an authentic act of love from the child.

Authentic love and generosity expressed by a preschool child does NOT come as a result of giving the child cards that they must give to others, or suggesting or encouraging the child that perhaps they should make or give something to others.

Authentic love and generosity is something that emerges spontaneously with preschool children. I'd even venture to say that preschool children practice "Valentine's Day" every day! In our program children make cards and gifts for others almost daily, and do so VERY creatively! 

Now watch this...THIS is what authentic love and generosity looks like in preschool...

A special note from a child to a teacher made just before graduation...spontaneously...holding hands under a rainbow...

A seemingly random drawing made and labeled (on back) from one child to another...

 A birthday card made by one child for another...because the birthday girl missed school on her expected day of birthday celebration due to having a "pink eye"...

 

This is why we don't plan to do a Valentine's day party. The love and generosity found in pieces like the examples above is so much more authentic than anything we as adults could suggest for a child to do!

So...what will tomorrow (Valentine's Day) look like here at Bloom? I'm not exactly sure. I know this...we will follow the children's lead in their learning just like any other day, because THAT is what is important for them to experience!

If in their play the children come up with the idea of a Valentine's day party...of their own accord...without the direction, guidance, or suggestion of an adult, we would absolutely honor the children's ideas and inspiration...and probably end up partying like rock stars!

So how can we keep those Valentine's Day traditions alive and well for the adults who care about them without pushing them on our children? How can we instill in our children an authentic love and generosity for others?

Let's MODEL it for them! Please spend your Valentine's Day showering others with love if you so choose. If you would like to show your child that they are special and that they are your Valentine, go ahead and do something special.

Make a special Valentine's breakfast...

Prepare a special surprise treat...

Plan a special Valentine's date...

Pick some special people and do a little something to bless them...

If you think the children your son plays with deserve a special little act of love, do one for them YOURSELF. Preparing a little surprise for the children yourself will be so meaningful to your child. Imagine the example you will be setting...you will be literally SHOWING (not just telling) them what Valentine's Day means.

RAMBLING NOTE: if you are preparing goodies for people and your child wants to join in on the giving...let them...just don't EXPECT for them to do so...just don't instruct them to do so...and if (heaven forbid) they only want to help with SOME of the goodies because those are the children they "like"...let it be so! You are perfectly capable of simply completing the rest of the goodies yourself, and it does NOT mean your child is an unkind person...it simply means "I am a preschooler...this is how my mind works!"