Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Teaching Kids about Disappointment and Adversity: What Valentine’s Day is All About!


Argh, it’s another one of those “holidays” where parents, husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, etc. are suppose to buy “gifts” for each other to prove their love to one another.  I view this as an opportunity to teach your kids (and your significant other) about Disappointment and Adversity.

You should know by now that if I talk to you or live with you, that you are pretty special.  This extends to my friends as well.  I’m pretty picky on who I hang out or interact with.  If you are reading this, you are even more special than others.

One of the ways you can teach your kids about Disappointment and Adversity is to NOT give them gifts or cards on Valentine’s Day.

What?  But…but…where’s the love?

You want love?  You want gifts?  Here are the gifts of love you should be giving them: Disappointment and Adversity.

They shouldn’t expect this day to be any more special than any other day.  It isn’t Christmas or their birthday; they shouldn’t get presents.  And according to my friend Mike, if you bought a Valentine’s Day card for your wife (or husband), you spent too much on her (or him).  His wife and he have mutually agreed not to exchange gifts or cards on these kinds of “fake” holidays.  I admire that.  They both get a gold star.

If you shower your kids or significant other with gifts now, you have already set unrealistic standards for them later in life.  You have created the opportunity for them to be disappointed later in life, yet not given them the experience of adversity to overcome their disappointment.

For example: What if you are in a different country and are gone for Valentine’s Day?  If you give your children gifts all the time for every Valentine’s Day, you have already set a standard you must constantly live up to.  Your kids will still expect a gift even when you are gone.  You just gave yourself more work to do.  You have to plan something and that takes work and effort on your part.  And will those kids remember your gift in a week?  Will your husband remember that gift in 24 hours?

No, they won’t.

All of your hard work, planning, and effort for nothing.  Your hard work wasted away in the hands of time.  What did you learn from this experience?

What if you don’t do anything?  You just taught a valuable lesson to our children about Disappointment.  After they cried their eyes out and say their mommy and daddy doesn’t love or care about them, they will be stronger.  Nothing makes your kid tougher than tears streaming down their dirty face, a little disappointment entered into their thought process.  They will learn a great lesson on how to overcome adversity.  How will they learn from this experience?  How will it make them stronger?  How will it toughen them up?

Let’s fast forward to your kid in a relationship with someone they care about.  This person forgets about Valentine’s Day.  Because you were such a “good” parent all these years, your kid (now an adult) goes ballistic because their significant other screwed up Valentine’s Day.  But really…whose fault is it?  As a parent, it is your fault because you chickened out and didn’t introduce Disappointment and Adversity at a young age.  For Pete’s sake, everyone knows that ALL problems stem from “daddy” or “mommy” issues we have as children.  Ask any stripper; they’ll tell you.

Life is all about Disappointment and how to overcome it.  A lesson in Disappointment will also teach your children about Adversity.  Your children will cry but this experience will make them stronger, they will overcome the adversity that they are now experiencing.  This lesson would be better taught to your children at a younger age.  Better to learn a valuable lesson at a younger age than later in life (when it will turn you bitter and just make you a miserable person).

As always, your sarcastic and bitter comments are welcome.  Heck, all of your comments are welcome.

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