Creative Child

How to Plan a Special Date with your Child on Valentine’s Day

by Deborah Song

Make this Valentine’s Day memorable for your child by planning a special date with her. It really doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you turn off your phone (or at least put on silent) and spend some quality time with her. Whether you take your child to a park, a movie, or treat her to a favorite meal, here are five ways to create a great parent-child date and show your child that not only do you love her, but that you like her too, something that gets lost on our constantly corrected kids.

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  1. Make it one-on-one. One-on-one time is special because it means undivided attention, especially in a household with more than one child. The more siblings there are, the tougher the juggle will prove to be, but the more your kids may be in need of some quality mom or dad time. A Valentine’s date doesn’t have to fall on Valentine’s Day either. Find a day sometime that week or in the month of February to celebrate a special moment with your child. 
  2. Spend time doing something your child likes to do. Whenever I ask my daughter what she wants to do, the answer is surprisingly simple. She just wants me to draw next to her. I used to think this was a waste of time and try to sneak in an email or two while she drew, but partaking in doing something they’re interested in tells them you’re interested in who they are. Getting to know their interests is a way to get to know who they are too.
  3. Include an element of surprise. The surprise doesn’t have to be big. Your child isn’t expecting a diamond ring. The surprise could be something as simple as ending the date with their favorite treat. But every child loves a surprise.

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  1. Tell your child why you like her. Most children with caring parents know they are loved. But they don’t always know they are liked, especially with all of the criticism and correction they receive. When was the last time you told your child not that you loved her, but that you liked her? Think about all of the qualities you like about your child and be sure to tell her. You might be shocked to find that the very reasons that cause the many headaches are the very qualities you admire about her. My strong-willed younger daughter, for instance, often gets in trouble for her unyielding nature. But it is this very unimpressionable and resilient characteristic I personally wish I had more of. And my older daughter often gets reprimanded for her dramatic nature, but it is her caring nature and sensitivity that I like most about her.
  2. Take photos. Guaranteed, a special one-on-one Valentine’s date sans phone where you and your child get to spend together will go down in your child’s book as a special memory. Be sure to capture it with some photos.

Deborah Song is a Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master's in journalism from New York University. She is the founder of worklifeparent.com, and is passionate about helping parents find better work-life balance and proper support through community.

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