Letters to Kids: 8 Words Every Child Needs to Hear

A Parents' Guide to Writing Encouraging Letters to Kids

When you write a letter to your child, it can be magical! It communicates love, pride, and commitment beyond the power of everyday spoken words.ake writing letters to your kids an annual event, either on their birthdays or around the holidays. To your son or daughter, it will be more than just another family tradition—each letter is a tangible expression of your love and pride, combined with the hopes and dreams you have for their future.

If you would like to write more letters to your children,...MORE or do so as a family, be sure to check out our Journal Questions for Single Parents or Write a Family Mission Statement. Here are eight words to include in annual letters to kids.

  • 01 of 08


    Daughter kissing mother outdoors
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    Of course, you want to tell your child how you feel! Even if "I love you" is something you say every day, the message is conveyed differently when the words are shared in writing. For example, you might say:

    • It's hard for me to describe much I love you!
    • Being your parent has been one of the greatest gifts in my life.
    • There's nothing that could ever change how I feel about you.
  • 02 of 08


    Quality time with her father and the fish
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    When writing a letter to your child, share what you've noticed recently about him or her. How has she grown? What positive characteristics do you see emerging? For example:

    • The generosity your son has for his siblings
    • The kindness your daughter shows her friends
    • The maturity you've witnessed in how your child handles conflicts
  • 03 of 08


    Happy mother and daughter reading book in bedroom
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    Describe what you enjoy doing together. This will mean a lot to your child, and it will help put the letter into context when he or she reads it again in the years to come. For example:

    • Playing games
    • Cooking together
    • Reading together
  • 04 of 08


    Girl showing drawing to mother
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    Be specific when you describe what makes you proud. This is something we all long to hear, and the words will nourish your child when he or she re-reads the letter years from now. For example, you might express pride in your child's:

    • Interpersonal relationships
    • Academic progress and/or work ethic
    • Athletic abilities and/or various talents
    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08


    Mid adult woman carrying and hugging son on rural road
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    In each letter to your child, share a few memories that mean a lot to you personally. Your stories will communicate truth in a way that's more memorable to your child than any singular compliment. For example, you might include:

    • Memories of a shared vacation
    • An observation you'll never forget
    • The memory of a time when you realized your child had grown in some way
  • 06 of 08


    Mother and daughter daydreaming on bed
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    In addition, take the time to share your highest hopes in your letter. For example, you might include:

    • Your hopes for your child's friendships
    • Your hopes for your child's own observations of his or her talents
    • Your hopes regarding his or her own dreams
  • 07 of 08


    Father and son playing with kite
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    This is an opportunity to share your confidence in your child, as well as the beliefs that continue to motivate you personally. For example, you might include the following when writing a letter to a child:

    • Your own convictions about his or her future
    • A Bible verse that speaks to this time in his or her life
    • A quotation that has touched you personally
  • 08 of 08


    Dad and Son high five
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    This word is a little tricky because there are definitely some promises you should never make to your kids. When used appropriately, though, "I promise" statements can convey dedication in a way that's clear and full of meaning. For example:

    • I promise to always love you, no matter what.
    • I promise to listen to what you have to say.
    • I promise to always consider your feelings and try to see things from your point of view.