I hope yours is off to a good start. It seems the warm weather, the sound of birds chirping and the signs of new growth bring out the best in some of us. Being our best also means being appreciative for all that we have and the non-monetary gifts we have in our lives like freedom, peace, and the people that surround us. It got me thinking about the impact gratitude can have. I would like to share an example of a little love note I sent to my eldest daughter to remind you that it isn’t necessary to wait for a special occasion – these lovely acts of kindness are appreciated all year long!
One thanksgiving, I decided since my girls are used to sharing family appreciations at our family meetings, that instead of doing the exercise, I would write each of my girls a letter of appreciation and have them open it at the dinner table. I am pretty sure they enjoyed the letter more than the turkey! I’ve since gotten several requests to know what the heck to put in an “appreciation letter.” My daughter Zoe – who was 16 at the time – gave me permission to share what I wrote to her:
Zoe, I am so thankful for your tenderness and kindness. You have a truly compassionate soul. You care deeply for people and stick up for the underdog. I really admire that. I appreciate your wit and your humor. You can easily brighten my day that way. I am thankful for your little gestures of caring, like how you play with my hair when I am at my computer writing late at night. I am sorry you got stuck with me as your paddle partner this summer on the windiest day of the summer, but it’s a memory I am going to cherish forever! I hope in time you do too! My godness, you worked hard paddling for hours and that was AFTER you were totally spent. What a testament to what you got in you gal! Sooo awesome. You take your responsibilities seriously and that shows with how you care for yourself, your school work, your driving and everything you tackle. – Love, Mom
I learned about “love notes” while I was working as a teacher at an Adlerian nursery school. We regularly sent “love notes” home with the children, especially to the discouraged and misbehaving students. You’d be amazed at how much impact these little notes can have. Plus, you’re teaching your child the fine art of giving appreciation, so you’re apt to get a note back one day too! Who doesn’t love being acknowledged and appreciated? Everyone does. I, for example, appreciate that you are taking time to follow me and read my parenting tips!