Pin It
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

How I Saved Valentine’s Day in 30 Minutes

By
Valentine' Day cards/ (c) InCultureParent

I was sure not to fail on helping my kids make (or let’s be real—making for my kids while they kind of help) cute Valentine’s this year. But alas I did. With so many cute and easy ideas out there, like this from Rookie Moms, and this from Parent Hacks, not to mention all of these adorable and doable ideas from The Crafty Crow, I felt motivated–I was all over it this year. Then it was suddenly two nights before Valentine’s Day (which in working parent time means that we had a 30-minute window between dinner and bed to make something), and we had done nothing yet.

 

As I scrounged around the house for supplies and opened each drawer to disappointment—no heart stamps, no cute paper, no catalogues to cut up, jeez…this was getting dire—I then came up with an idea. We would do something different this year. We would focus less on the Valentine itself and more on what it actually said. My daughter would tell me one nice thing about each of her classmates, and I would write it inside the card.  And I’ll cut to the chase: this was much faster than crafting with them to make a card. We pulled off all 14 cards in our two night, 30-minute window.

 

lila making valentine's

 

I first dug up some red paper and found a half package of leftover heart stickers. I drew a heart on the cards (the original idea was my four-year-old could color it in with Cray-Pas but we ran out of time for that) and my four-year-old stuck a heart on the card.

 

Lila's Valentines2-2013

 

Then I asked her to tell me something she liked to do with the first classmate. As it turned out, she needed some coaching.

 

“I don’t like when you scream so please don’t scream anymore.”

 

“Let’s say something nice in the card, so we don’t hurt their feelings,” I encouraged.

 

“What’s your address? Would you like to come over for a playdate? I want you to come to my house for a playdate.”

 

We were getting warmer. I gave her some examples of things I knew she enjoyed and suggested she tell each friend something she liked doing with him/her. Finally, the most adorable answers emerged.

 

“Dear Eryn, I like playing cheetahs with you. I want to have a playdate with you. I love you.”

 

“Dear Lucia, I like how much you laugh. I want to have a playdate with you. I love you.”

 

“Dear Nina (her closest friend), I like to swing and play with you. I like being silly with you and I want to have a playdate. I love you.”

 

Some of her answers showed thoughtfulness.

 

“Dear Ezra, I am sorry I didn’t let you sit next to me. I will be so happy to let you sit next to me. I love you.”

 

Some of them didn’t make sense to me but led to uncontrollable giggling:

 

“Dear Kaj, Dear Bamboo. I love you.”

 

Lila valentine-inside-edit

 

The 14 cards came together in the 30-minute intervals we had each night. They would not top any craftiest card lists. But they were personal and sweet.

 

When I thought we were finished, my four-year-old had other plans.

 

“Mama! Let’s make cards for the homeless people!” she said with breathless excitement. And I felt one of those few-and-far-between parenting moments where I saw my efforts to raise an empathetic kid with a social conscience were succeeding. Even if I didn’t make cool Valentine’s Day cards this year, perhaps I was doing something right.

© 2013, Stephanie Meade. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


How I Made My Forgotten Native Language My Child’s Strongest

I started off by speaking dodgy Cantonese. No word for remote control? No problem! ‘Pressy thingy.’

How I Moved to Thailand with my Family on Less than $1000

It's cheaper than you think to make that move abroad you always dreamed about

Is Raising Bilingual Children Worth the Costs?

Fancy schools, international vacations, foreign language books, DVDs and tutors add up fast

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Stephanie is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of InCultureParent. She has two Moroccan-American daughters (ages 5 and 6), whom she is raising, together with her husband, bilingual in Arabic and English at home, while also introducing Spanish. After many moves worldwide, she currently lives in Berkeley, California.

Leave us a comment!

2 Comments
  1. CommentsMud Hut Mama   |  Wednesday, 13 February 2013 at 10:48 pm

    I love your cards – and your daughter’s enthusiasm for playdates! How wonderful that your daughter spontaneously asked to make cards for the homeless – you are definitely doing something right!

  2. CommentsThe Editors   |  Wednesday, 13 February 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks so much Jody! It was very sweet to see the things she said, for sure. You never know what cute things will come out of their mouths at this age. She has all sorts of spontaneous ideas for the homeless (like when we move houses, we can give them our house)…I was surprised it extended to Valentine’s Day cards though!









Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!



2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!

What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala

Her baby's bare feet ended up being a lesson on poverty and privilege.

Why We Need to Read Multicultural Children's Books

Children need to see the world around them reflected in books.

How My Two Year Old is Teaching Me Thai

I am just another "farang" or stranger until my son starts speaking fluent Thai
[…] and movies. ● Use anonymous sites to talk with people using different languages  or seek a pen pal who is a native speaker. Omegle is an app that pairs people up with similar interests....
From 29 Tips for Raising Bilingual Kids
[…] the majority of non-Western societies, babies sleep with their parents–if not in the bed, then in the same room. So do young children. It is only in industrialized […...
From The African Guide to Co-sleeping
While I enjoyed the article and the idea of reading your baby is exactly how you should do it, I don't think that the author was following this at all. Becoming a full time walking zombie human ...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
I like your post and also suggest to another book stores holder in USA. Login their site to get more detail http://bit.ly/1If9B...
From 10 Best Children’s Books for Gifts
I must admit that being trained as a per-primary teacher has given me an advantage in knowing how to occupy my children. Even if you haven’t been trained, it’s not difficult to find ways in spen...
From Why African Toddlers Don’t Have Tantrums
Honestly,I think so because nowadays children have came kings not to touch,parents have to let themselves dominated by their kids wich is not the normal thing at all ?!I'll put it straight ,i'm agai...
From Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?
This seems to be a recurring debate in North Americans. The passionate, fervent desire to claim lineage elsewhere, when the entire demeanour, outlook, and approach to life distinctly screams Americ...
From Why People Tell Me I’m Not Really Jamaican
[…] niet huilen, en wat zij ziet in Engeland, waar huilen zo normaal wordt gevonden in het artikel Why african babies don’t cry. In haar artikel geeft ze aan hoe in Kenia de norm is da...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] I could reference those books but instead I’ll send you to links from In Culture Parent. This post includes six books geared toward children about Ramadan. Here are a […...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan

More from Our Bloggers