To Write Or Not To Write: Letters To My Kids

Should You Write to Your Kids?

In honor of Father’s Day (which is next Sunday, June 16), I was asked to contribute to Bob Brody’s Letters to My Kids blog.

Bob is passionate about encouraging parents to write letters to their kids to share family stories…this helps kids gain a sense of self-worth and a stronger parent-child bond.

Here is the link for the Father’s Day post: http://letterstomykidsdotorg.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/fathers-day-guest-columnist-vivian-kirkfield-never-enough-but-always-plenty/

I also participated on Bob’s blog for Mother’s Day and wrote a letter to my children about my own mother: http://letterstomykidsdotorg.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/guest-columnist-vivian-kirkfield-the-grandmother-you-hardly-knew/

When and what should parents write letters to their kids?

  • On holidays or special occasions
  • Anytime
  • To share your own childhood experiences
  • To share things that happened when they were very young
  • To relate interesting family stories
  • To say I’m sorry
  • To congratulate them on an accomplishment or goal reached

Many years ago, when my children were very young and they wanted to give me a gift for a birthday or other special time, I would tell them, “Write me a love letter!” Those letters and cards that they made themselves are still tucked away carefully and treasured by me. When your children give you a gift like that, it will outlast any box of candy, bouquet of flowers or trinket they might find at the store.

Love Makes the World Go Round

They say that love makes the world go round.

It definitely makes going round the world more pleasant!

Love is an essential element in our lives.  We can share our feelings with those we love on Valentine’s Day, of course.  But we can and should also find ways to say “I love you” to parents, children, significant others, friends, family members, pets…on a daily basis.

One way to say I love you to your children is to share past experiences with them.  Earlier this week, I did a guest post on Bob Brody’s Letters to My Kids blog, sharing with my children how I met their dad. 

Dear Jason, Peter and Caroline,

 Your future dad and I met as freshmen in college. I sat in front of him in English 1.1 and he sat in front of me in Social Science. Both of us were dating other people pretty seriously. And so for the first two months of the Fall semester, we were just classmates who spoke with each other as we walked into or out of the room.

Then came November 22, 1963. The intercom crackled. “The President is dead!” a voice declared.

For several moments no one reacted. And then everyone did. Screaming. Crying. Young men pounding their fists on their desks.

As we all exited the classroom, your future dad was right behind me.

“I’m going to walk home!” I exclaimed to no one in particular. “I can’t face sitting on the bus squashed between hordes of people!”

“I’ll walk with you,” the voice behind me said. “Where do you live?”

As it happened, we lived only four streets away from each other.

By the way, there are some girls who look fantastic even when they cry. If only I were one of those. Whatever eye makeup I was wearing was smudged and probably dripping onto my cheeks and chin. Plus, my nose was red and my skin blotchy. Hardly attractive!

No matter. Your future dad and I walked and talked for over an hour till we reached my house. And when we looked at each other, I know we saw into each other’s souls and we wanted to walk and talk together forever.

Our relationship grew stronger and closer during that next semester. By the summer, we were dating each other exclusively. We got married as soon as we graduated from college. And our relationship has flourished ever since. To this day, we remain the most loyal of soul-mates.

Out of tragedy, then, came an unexpected opportunity for love. In a sense, sad to say, it took a death to bring you all to life. We’ve never forgotten that, and we never will. And neither should any of you.

Love,

Mom

Children love to hear about how their parents met.  They want to know about their parents’ childhoods…did dad get into trouble for misbehaving in school…did mom play with dolls or tag after an older brother.   Kids enjoy hearing about when they were babies.  Writing letters to your children helps give them the knowledge of experiences and strengthena their feeling of belonging…a very important component of self-esteem!

What kind of letters will you write to your children or other loved ones?

Please come by tomorrow for Perfect Picture Book Friday!

VOTING DEADLINE: If you have the time, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog where you can VOTE for one of the six finalists in the Unlikely Valentine Contest…I’m honored to be among those six…but I can honestly say that there were dozens of awesome stories and poems entered…what a talented community of writers!  The poll closes Thursday, February 16 at noon…so hurry over, read the six Unlikely Valentine stories and VOTE!

Parents: Have You Told Your Kids?

 

Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.

Image via Wikipedia

 

In only a few weeks it will be Valentine’s Day.

I’ve been asked to write a special letter to my children about how I met their father.  It will appear in Bob Brody’s Letters to My Kids.  I’ll post it here after Bob publishes it.

Bob has appeared on the CBS Early Morning Show and his mission to encourage parents to write letters to their children to pass along the family history has been written up in the New York Times and other respected newspapers and magazines.

He has put together a fun survey that includes questions like: have you told your kids how you met your spouse?   Bob has asked me to spread the word to parents.  The survey takes just a couple of minutes.  He is looking to get at least 100 responses…why not give it a try.  I did!

You can click on the links above or follow this link below.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/W6QRZ52

I know Bob will appreciate your response to the survey.