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How to write a letter to your kids…

Towards the end of last year I read something that inspired me to start writing weekly letters to my younger kids.

The trigger came from thinking about when I was a child and receiving postcards from my grandparents when they went on holiday. Or from my parents when they went on a work trip.

The cards would be pinned to a cork board, or attached to the fridge with a magnet. They’d remind me that my parents were thinking of me no matter where they were in the world.

It was customary back then (30+ years ago!) to send postcards, and for a few obvious reasons it’s not so common these days.

Anyway, a few months ago decided that I’d like to write a weekly letter to my younger kids. Not only is it exciting to get something in the mail, but I wanted to give them something that they could place in their keepsake boxes and hold on for many years. Perhaps at times when I’m not around they will find comfort in them.

The bonus for me is that I have something fun to do with my 1961 refurbished typewriter that Cara gifted me last year for my birthday!

Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without a list of tips…so here are two lists for you:

List #1 – General guidance for writing a letter to your kids:

  1. Keep it really short and specific.
  2. Don’t overthink it.
  3. If your kids can read yet you can read it with them.
  4. Keep it positive – so they can go back to it in the future to feel good about themselves.
  5. Be honest – if you commit to promising something for the future make sure you follow through.
  6. Don’t worry about how they might respond. Know that you are influencing your kids in a positive way, even if they don’t realise it in the moment.
  7. Tell them that you love them.
  8. Don’t put pressure on them, criticise them or project your expectations.
  9. Have they got somewhere to keep their letters?

List #2 – Questions to inspire ideas to include in your letter:

  1. What do your kids love doing?
  2. What have you seen that you liked about what your kids did?
  3. What’s something you enjoyed about your time together recently?
  4. What’s something you are looking forward to?
  5. What are you proud of?
  6. What’s something that means a lot to you?
  7. Look back at photos from your most recent time together.
  8. What do you wish you had heard from your parents?
  9. What promises and commitments do you want to make to your children?

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How to encourage your kids to love reading…

If we try to make our kids love reading it’ll likely lead to them hating it.

If you’re like me, I’m sure you would like your kids to grow up with a love for reading.

So, as parents, what can we do to help encourage them to read more?

Here are a few ideas to nudge them along:

  1. Let them see you reading physical books
  2. Show respect for your own books
  3. Build a library for the family
  4. Read them stories aloud at bedtime, and enjoy that time
  5. Display the subtitles on the TV
  6. Create scheduled reading/quiet time at the weekend
  7. Take them with you to the book shop
  8. Get them a library card and spend time there
  9. Leave books lying around
  10. Re-read their favourite books
  11. Take turns reading aloud to each other
  12. Let them pick their books
  13. Designate a place/room for reading

What something that’s worked (or not worked) for you?

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A day with the kids…

Awake at dawn
Baffies and goonie on
To stay bed-warm

Downstairs demanding
Tip toe on the landing
Creaky floorboards standing

Morning pee
Honey in your tea
CBeebies on the TV

Hot milk to wake up
Rice Krispies in a cup
Toast in squares cut up

Individual packed lunch
Cheese sandwiches to munch
Smarties to crunch

Skating in the park
It’s only a little mark
Home before dark

Hands above your head
Favourite film before bed
Popcorn and a slice of bread

Jimjams and sunnies
Warm up the cozies
Tucked in bed for stories