Kids are interesting people. If your child is of a certain age, you may be very familiar with the refrain, “I know, I know,” that your child often begins repeating before you can get two words out of your mouth. Or maybe you aren’t sure your children know how much you love (and like) them. Or perhaps there is a “delicate” topic you want to discuss with your child, but feel like you and/or your child will be too uncomfortable to have the thorough conversation that is needed. The answer is often writing a note or letter to your child.
Parents who have tried this often find their notes are read and re-read. The wisdom and love you put in the note will be there for your child to read when you may not be readily available. Your children can consider what you wanted them to know privately at their own pace. They can even remind your children how much you will always love them when you are in a rough patch with your relationship.
There are a few important things to remember as you write your notes to your kids.
- Write the note by hand, but print clearly. Handwritten notes just feel more personal. If your kids can’t read your handwriting though, they may always wonder what you meant to say….or worse yet misread a word as something you would never have written.
- Keep the tone positive. Even if you want to impart concerns to your child, try to keep the overall tone of your letter or note positive. If you write harsh words, they may be read for many years…long after you have calmed down or the situation has improved. It’s not the legacy of your relationship you want to leave behind.
- Be specific. “You are a great kid!” is wonderful, but it’s even more meaningful for your child if you mention some specific things that make him or her so wonderful to you. Generalities aren’t necessarily bad, but they can leave your child wondering if you are secretly using some fill in the name generic template for the note.
- Mention their future with God. You don’t necessarily have to add this to every note, but it’s great to give your kids a peek at the future you are dreaming for them as servants of God. What kid doesn’t want to know God has planned good deeds specifically for them?!
- Connect with them emotionally. Notes are great for giving vent to all those “mushy” emotions about your kids that they may complain about when you say them. They still need to hear them, but writing them down allows them to reread those words whenever they want to remind themselves of your love for them.
- Encourage, encourage, encourage. Your kids need to know you believe in them. They need to know that even when they make mistakes or sin, you believe they can still become who God wants them to be with His help. They need to know it’s okay to keep growing and learning – even if they make some mistakes in the process. They need to know that redemption and forgiveness are always possible.
So pull out some paper and a pen. Use plain paper or cute notes. Add artwork or doodles. Once you’re done, slip it on their pillow where they can’t miss it. You may just be surprised to find out how much those notes really mean to your kids.