I’m writing letters to my kids. Letters they won’t read for many years to come. It’s how I’m discovering and learning how and what to parent my kids.
Most first-time experiences don’t spontaneously happen. You prepare for them.
The first time you:
- Drive yourself alone in a car.
- Sleep in a new house you’ve built.
- Eat breakfast as a married couple.
These, like most first moments took intentional planning to get to.
I know I’ve got more first experiences yet to come.
The first time I:
- Attend the wedding of one my children.
- Celebrate one of them getting a job.
- Let them drive somewhere alone.
- Have one of my kids tell me they have accepted Christ as their personal savior.
Now is the time to by intentional to get my kids to these first experiences so they are prepared for them.
I’m using Dr. Steven Covey’s idea out of his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; of “starting with the end in mind”.
For me and my kids, I’m writing them letters for future dates and events.
Some of these letters may never get read.
I’ve already shared in a previous post about a letter I wrote to my daughter when she was 29 months old for her wedding day.
ACTIVITIES AND TIPS:
1. Some letters I’m already working on:
- For their first day of their first job.
- Their first day in high school.
- When they get their drivers license.
- Their first date.
- Their birthdays starting at age eight.
2. I’m writing these letters because:
- Because, lets be honest, I might not be alive when that first moment arrives for them.
- I want to know now what I should be teaching my kids to prepare them.
- I don’t want to arrive at a first moment and have regrets that I didn’t prepare my kids for it.
3. My goal is that every time they read one of the letters:
- It’s a reminder of what my wife and I have already taught them.
- It spotlights the way my wife and I have been living our life.
- The letter helps them connect lessons we are teaching now to outcomes that will happen tomorrow.
4. Each letter is:
- Includes fun facts about the time I’m writing the letter.
- How their mom is doing and what she’s up to.
- Any major decisions we are considering as a family.
- I tell them the character traits I hope they have learned up to the point they are reading the letter.
- I tell them about how I hope they are doing.
- I tell them what I think is the single most important piece of advice for them.
5. After I write the letter:
- I scan it into Evernote.
- Seal the original in an envelope
- Label the outside of the envelope
- Put it in our fireproof safe.
- I then reread the scanned copy in my Evernote every so often to remember my promises and parenting goals.
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE RIGHT NOW:
- It’s never to late to start. Even if you don’t have kids yet.
- If you are a grandparent…write letters to your grandkids. Start with the end in mind.
- Email me and request a free copy of my eBook; Write Your Life. It includes similar content for your marriage and workplace leadership as well.
- Do you have any experience with letters to your kids? Letters from a parent?
- What first experiences or future dates would you write a letter for?
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RELATED POST FROM MY BLOG:
- Distracted Listening
- How to be a great F.A.T.H.E.R.
- How to be a great M.O.T.H.E.R. (A guest post from my wife)
- 3 Ideas for Home-based Adventures for the Weekend
- Why You Should Stop Working on Being a Parent