Cards for Kids
Through their children's childhood, most parents receive an assortment of pictures and cards containing colorful rainbows, hearts and words of love--which are all the more precious because they have been written phonetically. These pictures and love notes will fill your heart--as well as boxes, files, and a significant portion of your garage.
If you're only giving your children cards and notes on "special" days and holidays you're missing out on a wonderful opportunity. Through the written word, parents can express love, encouragement, appreciation, concern, and understanding. It's also an effective way to settle a misunderstanding, offer an apology, or express constructive criticism.
During the turbulent teen years, notes and letters can be a wonderful way to keep the lines of communication open and to gain a deeper understanding of your child. And while it's easy to let a thoughtless or angry remark slip out of our mouths, writing notes requires us to be reflective as we carefully choose the words that will communicate a clear and thoughtful message.
Sometimes, older children and teens are more comfortable expressing their heartfelt emotions through the written, rather than the spoken word. My teenage daughter writes me notes with a depth of thoughtfulness and understanding that takes my breath away. The colorful cards of her childhood have been replaced by letters that express her growing maturity, love, and the agony and joy of young adulthood. Whether your child is three years old or seventeen--cards, notes, and letters, are a great way to deliver a message of love and understanding.
Here are some ways to use the written word in your relationship with your child:
Use notes to express appreciation and thanks.
Use notes to congratulate and celebrate.
Use notes to apologize.
Use notes to remind.
Use notes to encourage.
For older child or teens:
Use notes to show concern and clear up misunderstandings.
� 2006 Patti Teel
About the author: Dubbed "The Dream Maker" by People magazine, Patti Teel is a former teacher and the author of The Floppy Sleep Game Book, which gives parents techniques to help their children relax or fall asleep. She is holding Dream Academy workshops at schools, hospitals, and libraries across the country where parents and children learn the playful relaxation techniques from her book and widely acclaimed children's audio series. Children at the Dream Academy workshops practice the three R's by resting their bodies, relaxing their minds, and refreshing their spirits. Visit her online at www.pattiteel.com