Write a letter to your kid.
Recently Ive started a new job and met some seriously talented people. One in particular is named Phil. Phil is what I’d call a super dad. He has 6, yes 6, kids who he is very dedicated to. Phil seems to have a knack for recognizing the different personalities in each of his children and adapting to their needs. One beautiful tradition he picked up is to write a letter to his kid on their 13th birthday. He was kind enough to share the contents of one of his letters and it was an incredibly moving read. His letter focused on his feelings toward his child. His observations of their strengths and his hopes for the future. It was a very genuine and sincere letter that was devoid of any judgement or persuasion.
What would my letter say?
Although my kids are small I think this is a fantastic way to connect with them. I’m looking forward to writing my first letter and dropping it in the mail (my kids love getting mail.). I want to share my feelings about being their dad. I believe sharing this with our kids makes us more relatable. So often we focus on tasks and behaviors. We should convey that we too have hopes and fears. I want to tell my kids how much they mean to me. That I’m doing my best to become a better dad. Like creating a blog, and posting my TFTW. Perhaps I will ask them how I can improve (maybe I’ll get a letter back) I want them to know that I’m very interested in what they have to say. Again, I will focus on my feelings and experience in a effort to not level judgement (positive or negative) in their direction.
My Challenge to You!
My challenge to you dads is to write a letter to your kid as well. Unlike a conversation letters are a great way to get someone to focus on what you’re saying. Write it whenever you feel its appropriate. Maybe for a birthday, or a special holiday, maybe for no reason at all. Make the letter about your feelings. Share your observations of their strengths. I know most of us will be unable to refrain from offering some advice so if you do convey with simple caveat :”You can do what you like with this advice…”
Share your letters.
Finally with this in mind I would love to see some of your handy work. If you feel inclined to share you can email me a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks a million Phil for sharing this idea!
Happy Dadding everyone.