Mother-Son Valentine Date Night Scavenger Hunt!

Valentine’s Day.

Diamonds and flowers and chocolate and commercialism!

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and if you are on Facebook it is highly likely you have seen your fair share of Daddy-Daughter Dance pictures…

Daddy-Daughter DanceI’ll confess, I helped fill the Facebook feed too. OH BUT THE ADORABLE.

Though *they* didn’t have Daddy-Daughter Dances back in my day, my dad did take me out. Some of my best childhood memories involve those times with my dad.

Once my girls became old enough to go to these dances with their dad, I found my son and I had some free time on our hands.  I have since seen people express their disappointment, “Why don’t they have Mommy-Son Dances?!”

In my opinion, the only time a guy will stop leaning against a wall and dance is only under the sweet power of his little girl.

Mother-Son FOOTBALL games… I can see that. Heck, I could get into that! But Mother-Son Dances? Y’all know I am not one to diss dancing, but if we take a moment and think about how an event like that might pan out, we might not be so quick to put together a planning committee.

The thing about sons is, they are not daughters. There are always exceptions, but I’m just sayin’.

My son and I have enjoyed a number of years of Valentine dates while his sisters and dad get dressed in their finest and dance the night away. Meanwhile, we do our own thing. When he was a little guy, we went roller skating… we’ve gone to movies and filled up on popcorn, soda, and candy… last year we got stuffed on dinner then came home and played video games. Sometimes we go with another mom and son, and one year we brought one of his friends with us.

No rules. No expectations. Just being time.

Can I tell you a little secret?

Sometimes I get nervous about these dates. What if my son doesn’t like hanging out with me anymore? What if I am a total dud? What if I am irritating and annoying and a humiliation?!!!

Lucky for me, my son is a pretty awesome kid who values quality time, so I worry for nothing.

Mother-Son Valentine Date Night Scavenger Hunt!But just in case, this year I made us a list of things. A mother-son Valentine date night scavenger hunt, of sorts. Lots of valuable things happen in the parent-child relationship in the small, unexpected moments… but relationships also takes intention. Even and/or especially relationships with a child.

Or young MAN.


So. If you are a mom of a teenage son, here is a Mother-Son Date Night Scavenger Hunt, of sorts. Please note: I suggest this as a guide. Tailor to your son’s interests and comfort zone. Or any parent with sons or daughters… this hunt is totally tweakable.

Mother-Son Valentine Date Night Scavenger Hunt

Mother-Son Valentine Date Night Scavenger Hunt! via @jennyonthespotNothing fancy. Nothing spendy.

And most importantly – nothing required.

Mama’s, check Ms. Boss at the door.

I brought us a list of ideas. Lucky for me, he’s cool with my selfie-goffiness and digs a game-plan so this kind-of things works for us. My son wasn’t wild about a couple of my original ideas, so we tweaked them… He didn’t want to toss a football in the cold and the dark, so we nixed that suggestion (and honestly I was SO THANKFUL). He wasn’t comfortable with my original dare, so I gave him another.

Oh but he ALMOST!

Our night wasn’t about checking off a to-do list.

snow angels in a parking lot

It wasn’t about making him do things I thought he would enjoy.
snow angels in a parking lot

It was about making the night a bit more special. More thought-out.

snow angels in a parking lotAnd fun.

Luckily, we had snow on our side this particular night!

It was also about me stretching out of my comfort zone. It was about showing my son I think of him and plan for him and not only consider his loves and likes, but value them too.

IMG_8489_edI especially value that his favorite ice cream is also my favorite ice cream.

And he is such a great sport…

french fry mustacheI mustache, you… do you like french fries with Ranch or Campfire sauce?

Parenting during the teenage years is daunting. I try not to worry about all the things I hear I should be worrying about. In fact, I hope that taking intentional time with and for my son will knock those reasons to worry right out the back door.

Mother-Son Valentine Date Night Scavenger Hunt!I wonder what he wrote in that note…

Building a relationship with your kid is not just about this ONE time, but this time and last time and next time and the time in the car on the way to school…

Parenting has been nothing like I’d ever imagined. From the very beginning. Nothing like I imagined. It is far more difficult and far more wonderful than any book could ever tell.

Mother-Son Valentine Date Night Scavenger HuntI just pray I do enough right in this process to make my dumb mistakes less traumatic.

And if nothing else, I’ll offer to help pay for counseling when that day comes.

In the mean time, we have these little treasures as time whizzes by at a relentless pace.

Mother-Son Valentine Date Night Scavenger Hunt

He’s so handsome! But please note he is not quite yet taller than me. I was just scooting in close because that is what mamas do.

Oh, and I think Mimi might be enjoying our random act of kindness… If anyone deserves an early Valentine treat, it’s Mimi.

box of chocolates

What are your thoughts on dating your kids? Valuable or weird? Did you experience that with either of your parents?

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8 Responses to “Mother-Son Valentine Date Night Scavenger Hunt!”

  1. Tanna Martin says:

    Absolutely wonderful!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and life’s experiences here. I love it… With a houseful of kids dating my kids has to be intentional, but also essential. I want with all of my heart for each child to feel their uniqueness and the overwhelming sense of love I have for each (all 7) and every one of them. I want to date my children and know them deeply. <3

    • I know you know what I mean, Tanna 🙂 I know you are very intentional. … I’m glad you brought up the point of dating all your kids. Though I focused on the mom-son date thing… it is SO important to make that time with each child. And that one-on-one time is essential. And can I say your words, “know them deeply” are perfectly chosen. Yes we know our kids, but the more time I take with them individually, the more I uncover and realize how much there is to learn about each one. They are growing and changing and experiencing so much… we have a lot to keep up on!

  2. Amyy says:

    I took my five year old son on our first date a few years ago. His dad was in the Navy at the time and out on deployment and his little brother was one and getting a lot of my attention. So I hired a babysitter for the baby, went the book fair at school and then took him to dinner. He still talks about that night and it started a good tradition. Great post!!! Thanks for sharing your photos.

  3. Joanna says:

    VALUABLE!!! So much so!! And, no I didn’t experience that with either parent, that’s why I KNOW how valuable it is. I grew up in a family of 5, but was often very lonely. Lonely, depressed, anxious and even suicidal. I cannot stress how important it is that we have relationships with our children that go beyond the ‘parent’ role.

    You hear so many say, “I’m not here to be her friend, I’m here to be her mother”. Well, okay. You remember that when she leaves the house and never comes home to visit because you have NO relationship with her. All because you were to busy being her bossy parent to be her ‘friend’.

    I know there is a fine line sometimes, but what is so wrong with being a friend WHILE being a parent?!? We don’t have to be dictators in our homes. Our children don’t have to fear us. They don’t have to be seen and not heard, as was the case in my home as a child. That isn’t ‘living’, that is merely existing and I don’t want that for my children, no thank you!

    Sorry for the rant, I am just very passionate about this subject because I grew up in very dysfunctional homes. Yes, more than one. More than two actually. I had a very rough childhood. BUT it has made me a better parent. And I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    Blessings to you and yours Jenny… xoxo

  4. jubilee says:

    I began dating my kids right after I realized how jealous I was that my (now former) husband was having so much fun dating them!

    I don’t remember getting to go on official dates with my dad, but I remember getting to tag along once in awhile when he went “crazy.” That was (and still is) his code word when he is going out by himself and kinda sorta has a plan to go do something, but it is subject to change at any time. Also, I think he just didn’t want to tell me when I questioned him! But once in awhile he would take me along and I just had to be patient for the day to unfold. It was wonderful. THAT is the kind of memories I want to give my kids.

  5. Jen says:

    While the hubs and the daughter were at the Sweetheart Dance, my son and I partook in our own date. It included dinner from the local BBQ place – my son’s choice, an impromptu picnic in the back of the car (because big bags of BBQ are hard to sneak into a hockey game), and a hockey game. It is definitely about carving out time to spend time together, and not about what you do. Though I love the Scavenger Hunt idea!

  6. Wow, I love this. What a great idea! We’ve got our first father-daughter dance coming up next week and I’m all stressed out about it and I’m not even going!

    The mother-son thing is awesome. There’s nothing quite like the love between a momma and her boys. Love this. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Jenn says:

    Our school doesn’t do a father-daughter dance (what the WHAT?) but we have semi-regular unscheduled Daddy-Maddie, Sam&Mommy nights (mostly because Sam and the hubs do a lot more stuff together and my girl needs her alone time.)

    Maddie has asked to go to a REAL ballet for her next night. My hubs is a saint.

    I’m happy I get to do things like bowling and movies or Wii and ice cream and whathaveyou.

    Love the scavenger hunt idea…might have to steal it for our next outing….

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