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Writing Love Notes

Contributed by Jody McVittie, MD

There are lots of ways to connect with, appreciate and empower your child. Writing love notes is one of my favorites. Maybe it is because I like to be a bit silly, or because I like the idea of my child being a bit surprised by a handwritten note in her lunch bag or coat pocket – I do like them knowing that I’m thinking of them even when they are not around.

Here are some ideas for different kinds of love notes:
– Any kind of paper will do – small is fine, color is fun, fancy is not necessary.
– If you are worried about the note getting moist, you can cover it on both sides with packing tape (after you write.)
– Short is great.
– Share an appreciation. “Thanks for you help this morning, love you!”
– Share an “I notice.” “I noticed how much fun you had last night. Made me smile. Xoxo”
– A simple, “I love you” works well
– Silly works too. “Roses are red, violets are blue, you’re reading this, and I’m thinking of you.”
– For young children, keep them simple and use words that he or she can decode reasonably easily.
– Other ideas: “I’m looking forward to our movie night tonight, are you?” “You’ve been working hard, I hope the math test went well.” Try a love note in mirror writing, in code, in a different language (with a translation), a small drawing or a “mad libs” note. There are so many possibilities.

What to watch for:
– Don’t make this a “job” for you. Keep it fun and spontaneous and do it when you feel like it. Some parents write them during the day when they are thinking about their child – and use them the next day.
– Don’t use “love notes” to nag, remind or teach.
– Keep them simple and fun.
– Keep them hand written. Texting is nice – but finding something hand written is special.

Do you have a love note story? Did you get one from your parent? Your child? Do you have a story about what happened when you wrote one? Please share it with us by writing a comment below.

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