Our eldest child Mia is about to enter an exciting chapter in her life next year – starting high school. Her primary school is currently organising a ‘Reflection Day’ to give the year 6 students an opportunity to pause and reflect on their lives as they enter an important rite of passage. During this day the children read a short letter from both parents to reassure them of their importance to the life of those around them. Her teacher explained it to us in a beautiful way:
“It’s a tangible expression of your love and pride, as well as ongoing hopes and dreams you have for your child’s future”.
To be honest writing this letter was a little challenging. How often do you write your child a letter of affection and encouragement like this? Maybe writing “I love you” on a birthday card. But this was different. This was a chance for me to write a considered and warm letter to expresses my unconditional love for her.
Does she know her Dad loves her and cares for her? Do I provide her with regular words of praise, encouragement and loving guidance? Do my words make her feel good about herself as a person? I’m the first to admit I speak to her with too many words out of short-lived frustration and try to deliver the right message but in the wrong manner. This was a chance to ensure Mia really understands we love her, we like who she is and we are there for her as she moves into this next exciting phase of her life.
So, my ‘love letter’ to Mia has been handed in to her teacher. She will get to read it on reflection day on 4th December. I hope she feels her parents love.
If you are ever thinking of writing your children a similar letter below are some prompts that Mia’s school provided parents.
“Love”- Of course you want to tell your child how you feel! Even if “I love you” is something you say every day, the message is conveyed differently when the words are shared in writing.
“Notice”- Share what you’ve noticed recently about them. How has he/she grown? What positive characteristics do you see emerging?
“Enjoy”- Describe what you enjoy doing together. This will mean a lot to your child, and it will help put the letter into context when he/she reads it again in the years to come.
“Proud”- Be specific when you describe what makes you proud. This is something we all long to hear, and the words will be like nourishment to your child when he/she re-reads the letter years from now.
“Cherish”- In each letter to your child, share a few memories that mean a lot to you personally. “Hope”- In addition, take the time to share your highest hopes in your letter.
“Believe”- This is an opportunity to share your confidence in your child, as well as the beliefs that continue to motivate you personally.