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Love Letters To My Child ‒ One Of The Greatest Gifts You Can Give

Written by: Kari Kling, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Most of us have some kind of a special folder or special box containing treasured cards and letters from others that we’ve collected over the years. These heartfelt expressions from others who let us know that we did something for them that was meaningful and appreciated become the heirlooms of our lives. These pieces of our memories make us feel good to know that we made a positive difference in someone else’s life or to remember a big accomplishment. It doesn’t matter how old we are, most people never let go of these treasures.



My question to the readers of this article who may have a treasured collection of memories is this, ‘How many of those notes or cards that you have saved are from one of your parents?’ As parents, we may tell our child how we feel about them, but putting our emotions and thoughts in writing will allow them to revisit these cherished moments for their entire lives.


Let me begin by saying this is not about parent guilt. It’s not about reading this and thinking, “Oh, my kids are grown and I never thought about writing them a love letter.” No matter how old your children are, even if they’re adults, it’s never too early or late to express thoughts and emotions in writing to your child. Even when your children are babies and much too young to read or know what the written word even is, they will always have this precious memory from you.


It's Not Just About Our Words


Whatever you write, as long as it’s from your heart, is wonderful. I also believe that by incorporating a few specific thoughts within your love letter, you have the ability to transform your message from one that expresses your love into a letter that encourages and reinforces many of life’s lessons.


Writing a love letter to your child is not just about memories or our words, it’s a way that we can be a teacher to our children to let them know how something they did exemplified a positive character trait or reinforce an exemplary behavior or action that they engaged in. Many of us are thoughtful about telling our children, “Way to go” or “Good job,” but do our children specifically really know what they did was good and why? Writing a love letter to our child offers an abundance of opportunities for us to teach our children the what and why of what they did, shaping and reinforcing positive behaviors along the way. It’s important to remember that the behaviors that receive the most attention are the ones that we’ll see more of. I promise.


For those of you who would like a bit of a guide as to what to incorporate in your love letter to your child, I have listed my love letter writing tips below with the goal of wanting to get the most from writing a letter like this to their child.


My Love Letter Writing Tips


Once again, just the act of writing a love letter to your child is one of the most heartfelt gifts you may ever give. There’s no right or wrong about writing a love letter, but here are some tips to support you in creating a message that is powerful one.


  1. Your love letter doesn’t have to be a long one. It is not necessary to fill your letter with every thought, feeling, or activity that may have transpired.

  2. Keep it positive. Perhaps your child did something inappropriate during a recent time period. I encourage you not to include it in the letter. If a child is working diligently to overcome a goal, encouraging him/her may be very powerful in a love letter, but if something negative or inappropriate happened, I encourage you to save it for another conversation.

  3. Be genuine about your emotions. Not only will this send a message of love and connection, you are also modeling for your child how to express their love and appreciation for another person.

  4. Incorporate and identify positive character traits that your child exhibited. Tell them what they did and how they did it.

  5. Sadly, many children never or rarely hear their parents tell them that they are proud of them. Telling your child that you are proud of them is incredibly important in building confidence and deepening your relationship. But we also don’t want our children constantly looking to others for approval. To balance this, I highly encourage you to tell your child that they ‘must be so proud of themselves’ first, followed by, “I’m so proud of you too.” I have included examples of this wording in the section below.

  6. Love letters to your child may be handwritten on a special piece of stationary, note card or computer generated. Using various colors/styles of paper for different letters makes each one unique. But once again, if all you have is a piece of notebook paper, it’s your words that make it special.

  7. I recommend writing a love letter three or four times in a year to keep it novel. If you write a love letter to your child all of the time, the result may be that the process loses its uniqueness as it becomes more commonplace. Additionally, your child may not grow up to find a future partner who will consistently write love letters like this, so we also don’t want to set our children up for disappointment either.


Examples of Love Letters to Child from Parent


Rather than just tell you about writing love letters to your child, I’d like to share some examples that were created in classes that I’ve taught on the subject over the years. The names have been changed to preserve anonymity.


Here’s an example of a letter from a mom to her 10-year-old son:


Dear Teddy,


Being your mom for the past 10 years, has brought so much joy to my life. Dad and I love you very much and it is a gift to watch you develop and grow. You bring so much love to our family with your laughter and sense of humor.


Dad and I have also noticed that you are really improving your focus on being on time and being responsible about it. For example, yesterday when you were at Eric’s house, you left there in time to be home at 5:30, which was the time we agreed on. You remembered to pay attention to what time it was and plan accordingly so that you could be home on time and you did it! You must be very proud of yourself and Dad and I are so proud of you too.


Your actions show Dad and I that we can trust you to keep your word. This shows great responsibility on your part and will be helpful to you in other areas in your life. Keeping your promises will show you that you can be depended on and this builds trust with others.


Way to go, Teddy. I am so blessed to be your mom. I love you more than 100 universes!


All my love,

Mommy


The following letter was written by a dad to his daughter when she was a freshman in high school:


Dear Stephanie,


I wanted to write this letter to you to tell you that Mom and I hope you are feeling very proud of yourself for how you have handled the recent hurdles that you have had to overcome with school. The beginning of this school year brought some challenges for you, but you persevered through the difficult times and never gave up. Through it all, you are still working hard, finishing your assignments on time, studying for your tests, and doing well. You are amazing.


Your constant efforts to set goals for yourself are highly respectable. You are very mature in this area and Mom and I believe in you with all of our hearts. We hope you feel extremely proud of yourself and we are in awe of your perseverance.


Stephanie, you are also an excellent violin player and you are playing so well after just a few months. I love hearing your music and know how much you enjoy it. I’ve noticed that you practice your violin on your own and nobody ever has to remind you to do it. This type of initiative will help you in continuing to improve your violin playing, as well as being successful in all areas in your life, now and forever.


Mom and I are so blessed to be your parents. I want you to know that I’m the luckiest dad in the whole entire world because I get to be your dad.


Love you forever,


Dad


Even though this article is about writing a love letter to your child, here’s another twist. Your child may write a letter to a sibling or other family member.


Below is an example of a seven-year-old sister writing a Christmas letter to her nine-year-old brother:


Dear Billy,


I hope you have a great Christmas. You are my best brother. I like to play with you.


Love,

Sandy


Beginning the process of allowing children to express their emotions through writing at a young age is an emotionally healthy way to build on communication and self-expression skills that may last forever.


I’ve even had some families in my love letter writing classes where parents had their children write a letter to the family pet. The possibilities are endless.


Love Letter Delivery, Preservation and Legacy


Love letters to your children may be mailed, left on their pillow or other special places in your home. Some families have set up a ‘family mailbox station’ in their homes using old milk cartons that have been decorated or small baskets with the name of each family member on individual baskets. Once again, there’s no right or wrong in love letter delivery.


Encouraging your child to keep a specially decorated box, special notebook with clear plastic paper covers or folder to protect their love letters will allow them to preserve their treasured memories for a lifetime.


Writing love letters to your child deepen the parent-child relationship, fosters positive emotional health and development, increases confidence and self-esteem, improves communication and shapes desired behaviors in the present and beyond.


Imagine that it is years from now and your child is looking through their special notebook or decorated box filled with cherished letters and holding one that you wrote to them so many years before. This will truly be a treasured heirloom legacy from the heart that may be passed down to future generations. Yes, writing a love letter to your child is one of the greatest gifts that you may ever give.


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Kari Kling, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Kari Kling, M.Ed., Parent Coach


Kari’s 40 years of experience as an internationally recognized educator, counselor, parent coach, and author/speaker has given her the expertise to guide thousands of parents to reach their parenting goals. Kari’s solid understanding of how we behave and learn is grounded in neuroscience.


Kari is a sought-after keynote and featured speaker for national and international conferences. She loves to meet and work with parents and their families in her home state of Arizona, nationally, and globally.


Kari states that her most powerful learning experience about parenting has been being the mom to her 20-year-old twin boys, as they have been her greatest teachers.


You can email Kari to learn more about her parent coaching services at: kari@karikling.com

or check out her website and social media.

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