7 Notes You Should Write to Your Children

write a note

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell has shared with me about how he wrote many letters to his daughter in college, but she never said anything to him about it when they spoke on the phone or when they saw each other. He wondered if she ever even read them. One day when Jim was visiting her in her dorm room, he saw all of the letters he had written to her opened and proudly posted on her bulletin board!

Your children may not express their enthusiasm about your notes or even acknowledge getting them, but know that writing notes to them will impact their lives and always be remembered. Over the years, I’ve made it a practice to write a note to each of my children. I’d like to share the kinds of notes I’ve written, and then show you how you can write those notes to your children as well. If you don’t feel like you’re the writing type or don’t know what to say, I’m going to try to give you some ideas and specific things you can say in your notes. Some of these notes you’ll write one time; others will be notes you’ll want to write on an ongoing basis when you can.

Here are the 7 notes you should write to your children:

1. Love note.

This is a note where you express your unconditional love to your children for who they are and validate their wonderful gifts. You can read what I wrote to my children in my How to Win Your Child’s Heart blog post. Here are some ideas for what to write your daughter too.

2. Lunch box note.

Another way to uplift our children is to slip them a note in their lunchbox. My wife, Susan, and I found that just simply letting them know we’re thinking of them will encourage them through the day. Not sure of what to write? How about, “I love you,” “I’m proud of you,” or “Have a great day.” You can even surprise them with a “Let’s go for ice cream after school” note. I’ve got some free, downloadable lunchbox notes for kids and teens you can use to get started.

3. Post-It note.

You can write little notes to your kids on yellow sticky notes and put them on their mirror, dresser, notebook or anywhere you want. Like lunchbox notes, these post-its are just quick words of encouragement to your kids. You might just say something like, “Way to go. An “A” in math! Awesome!” or “That was so nice that you encouraged your brother when he was down.” You can check out my How to Love your Family with Sticky Notes blog to see how we do it in our home.

4. Pillow Talk note.

As our children were growing up, Susan began to feel as if all communication with them was becoming instructional or disciplinary. So one time, she grabbed a spiral notebook and wrote a note to one of our daughters praising her for a nice thing she did for her sister and put it on her pillow. To my wife’s surprise, my daughter wrote back and placed the journal on her pillow. As a result, Susan developed the Pillow Talk journal so parents, like you, can write short notes of encouragement to their kids when they desire. 

5. Forgiveness note.

Every parent makes mistakes in child-rearing. And every parent should ask their child to forgive them for those mistakes. Sometimes a verbal, “I was wrong, would you please forgive me?” is appropriate. Other times, a written letter to your child is the way to go. Write to Right a Wrong.

6. Blessing note.

There is something inside every child that makes that child crave a good word from his or her parents. When we bless our child, we are placing our “seal of approval” upon them and giving them power to prosper in many areas of life, including marriage, children, finances, health and career. In addition to writing a note of blessing, you can also have a blessing ceremony.

7. College and career note.

Another thing I’ve done for my children is to memorialize, in writing, the most important things I tried to instill in them as they were growing up. All five children are now in college or working. Before they left our nest, there were four things that Susan and I taught them and always want them to remember. Here are the four things I penned to each of them.

I hope these ideas will help you get started on writing notes to your children. If you have any creative ideas that you have used with your children, I’d love to hear them!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • John Krysinsky

    I find this very helpful…  also I use text messages from time to time to just send notes of appreciation and support to my boys since they are teens and have phones. 

  • Jason Jubar

    The lunch box notes are a great idea, I am going to use them with the reward cards.

  • Tanders922

    I have 3 amazing daughters and I have always written them notes since the time they could read.. random notes on the mirror, in their lunches, and on the counter in the morning if I had to be gone before they leave.. I am probably more faithful to that while they are in school than I am during the summer and I never expected anything in return, it was just a way for me to touch bases with them, encourage them, and make them feel special about who they are… As a Dad I believe its my job to build their self confidence, help mold their self image, etc.. The other day, I was going to throw a way a stack of notes I had written my 17 year old daughter.. thinking these are old, she has read them, they are cluttering up the counter.. When my daughter walked in and said, “Dad what are you doing?” I said, “Honey just cleaning the counter and throwing away these old notes.” She said, ” Dad don’t, I have kept everyone you ever wrote me…” Good gravy.. I teared up and it hit me that these notes are making a difference and an impact in their lives.. wow!!!! 
    Now I have encourage the girls to leave notes for their sisters etc… and they have recently started to leave me notes, which as a parent when you get an unsolicited note from your kid filled with encouragement, thankfulness, and love… well that is just PRICELESS.. Of course I have always kept all their little notes over the years!

  • Pingback: Writing notes to your children « Parenting tips()

  • Love this! Thank you!

  • Pingback: My SMART Goal: Encouraging Notes to my Kids | Sunshine Parenting()

  • Alone Keta

    I got my solution………….this solution was very essay and very true………..!!!!!!!!!!!……………

  • Alone Keta

    ok I will support the boys

  • Holly Vivian Hughes

    I would suggest a letter regarding siblings. It does seem as if all the anger, frustration, and growing pains are first taken out on siblings and a letter explaining love and it’s lack of boundaries will help foster good sibling relationships.

  • Jason, so good to hear.

  • You are so welcome

  • Holly, good thought on sibling letter.

  • John, good point…I do the same thing.

  • Elizabeth engelman

    I have mm y grandkids for the month and one night after looking in on them sleeping I just thought how much I love them, so I wrote it on a paper and put it in each of the shut doors. In the morning they were so happy to get the notes, I was very surprised at how happy they were, I just simply wrote, I love you Gracie, I love you Emil. At first they said who wrote this and when I smiled they knew. They are 6 and 8, but I hope it’s something they remember. This was last week and I will continue for as long as I live. I believe it will stay with them. I use to put notes in their dad’s and uncles lunches.