In this post, you will learn how to write a personal letter to someone in your family that will not only move them, but will also do wonders for you.
It’s obvious, for so many reasons, why receiving a meaningful, personal letter can move your family member.
What’s not as obvious is what it can do for you. It will do wonders for you also as the writer and we’ll go over why.
The letter can be to your family member that maybe isn’t with you any longer or that you maybe don’t have a relationship with anymore that you’d hope for.
Either way, doing this is going to be an experience your family will never forget.
Why You Should Write a Personal Letter
If you’re the parent of a teen or even pre-teen, chances are that you do your fair share of communicating via text message. But in our fast-paced, tech world, taking the time to sit down and write your child a letter will speak volumes to them.
This heartfelt gift will let them know in a very tangible way how deeply you love them. And that expression of love will cover up the multitude of mistakes that we all make, as parents.
Who Should You Write A Personal Letter To
You should write a letter to each of your children, individually, as well as your spouse.
Each letter is an individual expression of love. And by writing a letter to your spouse as well, your children will see you modeling love for your husband or wife. They will understand what a good partner looks like.
And finally, you can write a letter to a parent, even if they are no longer with you. We’ll explain why this is powerful in just a moment.
Personal Letter Format
Your letter should be handwritten. Your handwriting is unique and shows an extra level of consideration, since it takes more time to write something by hand.
It will also be a cherished keepsake your children, parent (and spouse) will hold on to, if written by hand.
For the salutation, you could write “Dear ____” or just use the term of endearment that you commonly use with your child.
There are no specific protocols on how you should format the letter. As long as it’s easily legible, format it in a way that works best for you.
Writing A Personal Letter To Your Child
Start by telling your child that you love him or her unconditionally. It doesn’t matter what grade your child brings home from school or how he or she performs in sports. (Or, if writing to your spouse, you could talk about how you love them, regardless of whether the laundry is done.) Your love isn’t based on an outcome, whatsoever.
Next, let them know how proud you are of them and how proud they should be of themselves. Praise his or her unique abilities and character. Include the little things that they do that you’re proud of (helping siblings with homework, making breakfast for the family, etc.)
And finally, finish the letter by writing about your relationship, both how good it is and specific things you want to do to improve the relationship. (Don’t include anything that you aren’t 100% committed to following through with, of course.) Let them know how much you value a personal relationship with them, outside of just spending time with the family.
Writing A Personal Letter To Your Parent (Big One)
Most of us have things we wish we could say to our parents, but haven’t.
For some of us, there may be anger and blame and a desire to tell them what we wish they had done.
However, bitterness and anger can and will impact every aspect of your life. In fact, this is often referred to as a “Father Wound.”
As Alfred C.W. Davis writes:
We all come into the world helpless, dependent and needing acceptance, to be treated as worthy, and to be blessed. The father wound is the absence of this love from your birth father. The wound can be caused by:
Neglect – I am unimportant
Absence – Divorce, separation, death
Abuse – Mental, physical, sexual, spiritual
Control – Oppressive domination
Withholding – Love, blessings and/or affirmation, deficiencies that lead to a profound lack of self-acceptance.
John Finch, in his movie The Father Effect, emphasizes the importance of letting go of your anger and actually FORGIVING your parent. Even if that parent is no longer around to receive it.
You’re doing it more for yourself than your parent, truthfully.
Share in the letter that you forgive him or her for the mistakes that were made during childhood. It’s possible that he or she didn’t have the best parenting example, either, and therefore didn’t know how to show love to a child.
As Thomas Fuller said, “He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven.”
Let your parent know that you love him or her, no matter what.
Conclusion: How To Write A Personal Letter that’s Meaningful
A personal, handwritten letter to a child (or a spouse or parent) is a powerful expression of love that will speak volumes, possibly healing wounds that have been present for a long time (possibly decades, if you’re writing to a parent).
Let your child or spouse know that you love him or her unconditionally. Let them know you’re proud of them. And finally, talk about how much you value the relationship and how you envision the relationship in the future. Let him or her know how you would like the relationship to change and grow in the future.
If you’re writing to a parent, tell them that you forgive them for mistakes that they made. Let go of any anger or bitterness (this will be incredibly freeing for you).
Try this exercise and Jump over into our parenting only Facebook and let us know how it goes. We think you will be amazed by how it strengthens the relationship you have with your children and your spouse.