This morning I wrote notes to two of my kids. Though I was tempted to rush to the next task on my list, I was reminded that the years are quickly fading, and today they needed to hear a few things.
They needed to hear I’m proud of them. There are things my husband and I have recently noted in their character, and they needed to know we see it. It’s a lesson I learned from parenting my first born through her teen years. I learned what she craved more than anything was to know we were proud of her. I thought she knew it, but she needed to hear it.
They needed to be encouraged in the little things. One of our kids has persevered in a situation that would have been easy to bail out of. That’s not easy for a teenager. I wanted
this child to know the value God’s word places on perseverance. “…Because we know suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4.
They needed to know we see them as individuals. When I step back and think about dialogue I have with my teens in an average day, it often consists of telling them what to do, what not to do, or discussing surface events in life. In the teen world when peers are more important than parents, kids need to know we see who they are becoming as individuals, and that we affirm who they are. Kids need to know their parents know them even if we don’t spend a lot of time engaging with each other during this stage.
They need to know home is still safe for them. Boys really don’t want mushy discussions with mom, but in a note, I can communicate things that are awkward if said in person. Sharing things in writing allows doors to open for future conversations and gives them an underlying sense of security that we understand their world. There’s security for a child in knowing that parents understand things even if we don’t know all the details of their life. Home needs to be safe and secure like it was when they were small.
While I didn’t get letters written to each child today, the other two will have their time. While texting has perks, there’s something about words on a page from Mom that can be tucked away when needed in the future. I know. I’ve got my own storage box that I pull out every once in a while when I need to hear these things, too.