Tuck a personal note into your child’s lunch box. It’s a guaranteed way to brighten any day. In the midst of concentrating, adjusting to others, following rules, interacting, negotiating—suddenly your love and unconditional encouragement are there.
Notes don’t have to be long: “I’m thinking of you.” “Hope you’re having a happy time.” “Can’t wait to see you!” “Sending you a hug.” Notes don’t have to be limited to words. A little drawing of doing something together at the end of the day or a funny image of a pet provides instant refreshment.
Over the years, I’ve seen how excited children are to receive the briefest of notes. Even preschoolers who can’t read stop mid-activity and visibly brighten on hearing the words a parent has written. The note communicates “I am thinking about you when we are away from each other.”
In these challenging times, notes are especially important, and sending them to our children encourages them to become letter writers themselves. Constructing a note requires more than handwriting. It involves gathering thoughts and emotions and empathy for the person receiving it. There are countless people who would love to receive a letter or a work of art created by a child in one’s own family and beyond.
Writing letters during the holiday season is a family project and a way of thinking of people in need. Sending letters to relatives, neighbors, and friends is a way of spreading cheer. There have also been calls for encouraging anonymous letters to residents of nursing homes, homeless people, and children in hospitals. Researching people who would be cheered by a letter is part of the fun.
Writing a seasonal letter to a beloved teacher is a great way to say thank you for all the courage and love given by our staff so generously this year.