Christopher’s bedroom wall has various items and memorabilia that you might expect to see from a high schooler. But on one wall there’s a bulletin board covered with letters, written on stationery. There are probably twenty or thirty pieces of paper pinned there.
For about the past ten years, he and his grandmother have exchanged letters. Not emails or texts, although they do that occasionally, too. These are written letters that they write back and forth on a regular basis.
She’ll typically write about what’s going on in her life and some upcoming plans, but she always includes words of blessing and encouragement as well. And she’ll include a stamp for him to use for a reply letter.
Christopher writes his response within the next day and puts it in the mail. Of course he tells her some of what’s going on with him, and then she has more to ask him about—and pray about—for the next letter.
And as I said, he hangs those on the wall in his bedroom. It’s clear how precious they are to him.
I believe in speaking affirming words to your grandchildren, but letters allow them to stretch out and savor that affirmation. They’ll feel eager anticipation when they see the folded note or sealed envelope, addressed to them and no one else. Then they see your scrawled, sweeping handwriting, and know that’s you on the page. Maybe they’ll even put it in their pocket ‘til later, when they can really focus on what you’ve written.
You don’t have to be eloquent or even grammatically perfect—just write from the heart. Maybe include an interesting clipping you saw in the newspaper or online, or use stationery that goes with your grandchild’s interests. Or write on your company stationery, and let your grandchild experience some of the dignity of your profession.
I guarantee they’ll treasure those letters, and they’ll probably read them over and over, and probably come back to them years later, or pull them out when they need a lift.
If you’re still not convinced, just think about what you would give right now for an affirming, supportive letter from your own grandmother or grandfather.
Go ahead; try your hand. A simple letter from you can have more impact on your grandchild than you ever dreamed.