There are many things we can do to win our child’s heart. Over the years, I’ve made it a practice to write special notes to each of my children. It’s important to verbally affirm and encourage our children, but I’ve found that the written word is powerful too. And, it’s something they can keep and look at when they need encouragement and affirmation. One note I wrote to each of our children when they were younger was a note expressing my unconditional love for them and to validate their wonderful gifts. Here are three things I included in those notes.
1. I let them know that I love them for who they are, not because of what they do.
Too often we say to our children “I love you because…” That is conditional love. Our love for our children should be unconditional. In the letter to one of my kids I wrote, “I love you for just being you. You are an incredible young woman, a child of God created with infinite value and worth. I love you always, no matter what.” My words conveyed my unconditional love to my daughter.
2. I praised them for their unique talents, gifts, and abilities.
I wrote to my child, “For many years I have noticed that you are a leader. Your friends like to follow you in what you do. You have a magnetic personality and other people like to be around you.” This letter should be focused on praise, not criticism. Praise your child even if they are different from you. Really focus on what makes them unique.
3. I shared with them what I want them to remember about our relationship.
In my letter, I wrote “I want you to always remember that spending time with you was a #1 priority for me. Just being with you was something I always cherished.”
So, write your letter now! If you’re not comfortable with writing a note, do it anyway! Get in a quiet place and write it from your heart. It doesn’t have to be complicated or long. You can use the outline, and even the words, above to help you. Then, put it on your child’s pillow tonight so they’ll see it and read it before they go to bed. (If you want more conversation starters to discuss with your child, try the Q & U app.
I’d really like to hear how your child reacts to your letter. Please share your story with me!