Valentine's Day, Valentine's Day card, Valentine's Day cards, Valentine's Day children.

Valentine’s Day is for Lovers and Retailers, Not Parents and Children

Valentine's Day, Valentine's Day card, Valentine's Day cards, Valentine's Day children.
(Photo by Shana, used under CC license)

I fear I’m in the minority, but I find a little girl giving her daddy a Valentine’s card 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.

There is an argument against children ‘celebrating’ Valentine’s Day because it’s asking them to grow up too soon. I don’t agree with that, as 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.

Every day, I tell my daughter that I love her. But that is not the same love I have for her mother, and I want her to understand there’s a difference. It’s not better, not lesser. Just different.

What do you think about getting a Valentine’s Day card from your child? Cute? Or creepy? Please comment below, join the conversation on my Facebook page, or tweet me @manvspink.

20 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day is for Lovers and Retailers, Not Parents and Children”

  1. Valentine day is about love and I love my children it is a day for love and to express that love weather it be for a lover, spouse, parent or child.

  2. Why would the writer call ” a little girl giving her daddy a V-Card creepy”; personally I find it’s sweet and loving. cause the little girl loves her daddy. I’m receiving V-Cards from my grandsons n my children…. Fore most parents are the 1st love of any child. Where is the compassion from this writer? And kids love to give cards n gifts…..

  3. Nope couldn’t agree with you less. I send my daughter flowers every year because I want her to feel loved on this day no matter what, who cares if it is a different type of love to the one that traditionally the day was for. Halloween was originally something totally different (the eve of all hallows day) Easter has nothing to do with Eggs or rabbits, things change over time and for most people Valentines is now a day to celebrate love of any kind not just romance.

    In fact if you look at the history of valentines day in the 18th century gifts were given between friends and lovers, so it’s not even a modern thing.

  4. It sounds like you are looking rather to far into this, and giving an awkward twist to the whole “Valentines Day”. With all the crazy things going on in the world today we should embrace any chance to tell our loved ones we love them. My daughter came home from her grade four party today so excited to show me her little cards she received from her friends, and that is the whole point! “FRIENDS” she is not looking for a partner, and giving a parent a sweet little card is not in children’s mind set of “CREEPY” it’s creepy that you would write about such a thing in the first place, but thats my opinion. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Is Getting a Valentine's Day Card From Your Child Cute or Creepy? - Perfect Your Lifestyle
  6. While I get the point about Nancy and Frank Sinatra, I have to say that there are three Valentines Day cards on my shelf ( inc mine to OH) and one is from my five year old son. Inside it reads, ‘To mum, will you be my valentine? All my love, S’.
    Why would I find that creepy? My heart just filled with love. He’s autistic and struggles with handwriting so I knew how much effort went into writing those few words.
    When you look at things from the child’s perspective, there’s nothing remotely ‘creepy’ about it. It’s just their way of showing us how much they love us. He also told me that he’s going to ‘marry me’ when he’s a ‘big daddy’. Far from creeping me out, it shows me how much he loves me. I’ll remind him of it when he’s a stroppy teenager but for now, I’m making the most of him being my sweet little boy.
    A child’s view on life is simplistic and innocent. Why interpret it as something that it isn’t?

  7. I don’t have a problem with my children making it their own, just because the majority of people use it to celebrate one type of love doesn’t mean others can’t use it to celebrate a different type/all types of love. And let’s face it the world needs more people being openly loving!

    Also this year was the first year I’ve received a card from my son, and it meant the world as it was also the very first time he’d tried to sign his name.

  8. My daughter made me a Valentine card. I explained valentines day was for mummies and daddies but she insisted that it means you love someone and she loves me.

    It’s not worth getting hung up over. I don’t encourage it.

    The ‘love = sexual intercourse’ rule can be explained to her later.

    She’s only 7.


  9. With you one hundred percent it really freaked me out too.
    Different sort of love being celebrated Eros or Ludus not Storge to use the (more precise) Greek terms. Sexual/Playful love rather than familial, I haven’t found explaining the difference to my girls particularly arduous.
    Personally, making the differences clear as early as possible seems like a good idea. We did “God is Love” or Agape at the same time – they go to a Church school so it seemed wise.

    With you all the way on Pinkification too.

    One Love!

  10. My father and my grandfather always gave me some flowers on “Dia dos Namorados” (the valentines day here in Brazil). When I questioned my dad that his valentine was my mother he said the most beautiful thing: Valentines are, first of all, best friends.

  11. Pingback: Kids giving their parents Valentine’s Day cards isn’t cute, it’s creepy… @ManVsPink
  12. Where I’m from, Ecuador, Valentine’s day is the “Day of Love and Friendship”, so EVERYONE gets a valentine, your best friends, mainly, and if you’re ballsy, you’d send one to a crush. But yes, now that I have a son, I’m puzzled by all the Valentine’s Day Crafts for School posts on Pinterest. I thought, “How is this okay? Knowing that in the US V-Day does not emphasize the friendship part? Little kids shouldn’t have to be sponsored into thinking romantic thoughts before they do on their own”. Then I thought. I’m not even going to mention it right now cause I’ll be on the weirdo foreigner side of the argument (like I’ve been before). As my boy grows up, I’ll call it the Day of Love and Friendship, so that’s how he’ll see it too. Or you know, I hope he will, he’s not a year old yet.

  13. I get your concern about feeling creeped out, but I think the key here is age and context. If my daughter wants to give me a Valentine’s card when she’s six or seven then that’s fine – I certainly wouldn’t encourage it, but I wouldn’t discourage her from expressing her love either. But if she wants to give me a Valentine’s card when she’s 16 or 17, then we have a problem.

    If we accept that young kids giving each other Valentine’s cards is asexual and not creepy then I think it’s ok to accept that giving one to their dad isn’t meant in an inappropriate way, they’re just trying to express the love they feel to the (hopefully) most important man in their life at that age.

  14. It is an old post but I had to writer this…It makes me sick in my stomach that my mum keeps thinking valentines day is for her. Keep sending me messages or appearing in front of my door (which i should be spending the day with my husband) is not showing love it is kind of sickness in my opinion. She should be doing those for her husband which is my father. Valentines day is for valentines so people, grow up. I don’t like moms treating their child like loved ones either. It is not healthy thing to do and pediatricians keep saying that too. So mom wait for the mothers day for the affection and gifts it is way better.

  15. Totally agree with you. This is a bit different but my friend of the same sex as me gave me a valentine card and present this year. I’m very happily married (30 years) and she has always been heterosexual as far as i know. I’ve known her since school and my reaction to it was one of horror; it made my skin crawl. However way it was meant, i feel I will never really know the truth; just what she want’s me to think.

  16. I 100% agree if people actually look at the day. It’s suppose to for someone you’re more Intimate with. Live many things now it has been driven by retailers. Like Memorial Day, MLK Day, and yes I’ve seen Pearl Harbor Day sales. I kinda think people that are upset with the writer have been been brain washed. I don’t give my mom or daugther a card at all. I will get my son and little girl a peanut butter cup. My wife will get the gifts on this day. I agree it’s creepy. Son giving mom gifts creepy.

  17. I can’t believe you actually sent out such a loveless message to the world that is already struggling with love.
    Shame on you and I hope once you’re 80yo and get a Valentine card from a girlfriend/boyfriendq or your son/daughter – you’ll realise how wrong this article was.
    Like what the f^^^^. Good luck.

  18. I searched for just this. I completely agree in regards to adults. Mother sending a son a Vday card, creeps me out. My mother would never send that to me. Maybe flowers or something. But it’s a day for Lovers and Retailers, completely agree. In regard to children, no big deal, I really appreciate your take that children play out adult scenarios, never realized that. While small children giving cards is one thing, maybe they just want to, I dont think it’s ok to confuse that love with the kind on Vday. Perpetuating it through adulthood, yuck. Wondering if parents who do it ever considered their adult child might not want them to.

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