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.

p5rn7vb

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband

And why this is the number one fight in our household

All I Want for Christmas is Perfectly Bilingual Children

Why OPOL has been harder than we thought.

Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?

Should spanking be part of your parenting toolkit to have well behaved kids?

Ramadan Star and Moon Craft

A craft recycled from your kid's art work!

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!




Are Parents Too Overprotective in the West and Too Lax in the East?

Would you pick up a stranger's child or is that invasive?

Does Religion Matter? Juggling Two Faiths in One Family

What's the best way to transmit the values we care about to our kids?

Amazing Portraits of Biracial Kids

Smarter, larger, better, healthier and more beautiful? A project that debunks stereotypes.

Dear White Officer, Please Don't Shoot

At what age does my darling black son begin to look like a threat to the world?

A Book that Celebrates Cross-Cultural Friendship

A great pick for back to school season

My Daughter’s 10 Favorite Multicultural Books

Does your shelf have these kid favorites?

I was Diagnosed with Cancer at Age 37 while Abroad with Kids

Illness in a foreign country can be scary but it taught this mom a different meaning of family.

Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More

Win almost $300 in prizes from awesome globally-inspired children's products.

5 Smoothies Your Kids Will Love

Healthy smoothies for summer your kids will like.
I smiled as I read this article. I grew up in Romania, and moved here when I was 18. I had my first child at 29 and my second 5 years later. Somehow, maybe because of my upbringing, or maybe because...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] In Culture Parent: Thank you for children in Britain and Kenya. Choosing not to insist on thank yous with the experience of two different cultures. […...
From Do manners really matter? Why I hate making my daughter say please and thank you
[…] Breastfeeding Around the World (2012, March 5). In In Culture Parent. Retrieved September 13, 2014, from http://www.incultureparent.com/2012/03/breastfeeding-around-the-world/#slide0 [...
From Breastfeeding Around the World
Takino Park is 'outside Tokyo'?" Really? I guess so. It is only about 1,000 miles away (a little over 1,500km) from Tokyo. It is kind of like saying New York is "just outside of Miami", or Lon...
From Top 10 Most Imaginative Playgrounds Around the World
Thanks for this great explanation of O-higan. Much appreciate...
From Happy O-Higan!
america aint the whole west. When i am at the local small shops the shopkeepers always interact with my toddler daughter.and i have heard youre so cute i am going to take you with me and similar thi...
From Are Parents Too Overprotective in the West and Too Lax in the East?
Hi Karen! Lovely photo shoot!! My daughter's got curls (inherited from her daddy's side, interestingly enough!) and this gets many comment...
From Amazing Portraits of Biracial Kids
[…] to InCultureParent, Enkutatash, meaning “gift of jewels” in Amharic, originally derives from the story of the […...
From Enkutatash (Ethiopian New Year): September 11
The other day while my daughter and 16 year old moderately autistic son were in Subway, a lady notice how my son was talking and moved away from him to the back of the line. Had I been there, I woul...
From Why You Shouldn’t Judge: My Son is Not a Monster. He’s Autistic.

More from Our Bloggers