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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