Yesterday my mom gave me an envelope from 1978. Inside was a stock certificate. For my 1st birthday, my Grandfather bought me 40 shares in a company that developed the first ATM. I should be a millionaire, right? Sadly, my mom traded it for stock in a company that made 3D cameras.
Regardless of my lost cash, today I was excited because I had something really valuable–my grandfather’s handwriting! My grandfather was a farm boy turned business man, but he should have been an architect. He was an artist and had the best, most perfect penmanship. I love looking at it because in this day of emails and texts, it is so personal. I feel connected with him just looking at it.
Using written words can be powerful because of that personal touch. Sometimes words can come across more gentle, more eloquent and with less hesitation on paper. Words are an excellent way for parents to talk to their kids. I want my kids to know my handwriting, yes, but I really want them to know my heart when they see my handwriting.
Here are some super-creative, meaningful ways to write your heart out for your kids:
1. Be a pen pal.
Imagine being pen-pals with your children. You write a letter to your child in a private notebook, leave it on their bed and let them respond at their own pace and in their own time. I love this idea for those kids who have bottled up emotions but can’t seem to express them. I also think if you started this early, it would be perfect for those tween and teen years when words don’t always come out just right!
2. Write a letter.
When my daughter was 3, we had the worst day of parenting ever. It was the first time I saw the horrible future of crazed-teenagers flash before my eyes. It was the first time I thought, “I’m ruining my daughter!” After the ordeal and she was asleep in bed, I sat down and wrote a letter to her. I sobbed as I poured over the words–about my insecurities as a parent, my failures as a mom. It was so healing to me and I believe, when I give it to her one day, it will be healing for her, too.
3. Use someone else’s words.
Pick a favorite book, one that changed the way you think about life. Maybe the Bible, a devotional-type book or even a novel. Read through the whole book and make notes inside–underline, highlight, add stars and exclamation points. Turn it into a love note to your children. Highlight what you’d like your children to see in this book. Then, give it as a gift on a special day–graduation, birthday or when they need a pick-me-up.
4. Start a journal.
I found a journal of my mom’s a few years ago. It wasn’t a diary where she was spilling all her inner thoughts, it was a day-by-day, “we ate here, stopped there and bought this” kind of journal. I honestly don’t know why she kept it, but it was so intriguing to me! I loved the peek into my life as a child! Why not have a journal for your kids–it could be as simple as a baby book, a line-a-day book or as high-maintenance as a blog or a scrapbook.
Words are powerful. Our kids need to hear our words spoken over them—encouraging words, loving words and words of leadership. Sadly, they won’t remember millions of words that have poured from our lips. But writing some important words and thoughts can be a gift your children will treasure forever!
Do you write to your children?
|Amanda is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at OhAmanda.com and Impress Your Kids. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor — overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!|