Michelle Watson Do yourself and your daughter a favor. Write her a letter and tell her what you love about her.
We love to see teens touched by love, especially the love of their parents. It is powerful when teens cry, and there are always some tears when we hand out these letters. In some places, it is a sacred tradition.
So why do I hate letters from parents on retreats more than I love them? Because of what I have seen, heard and experienced: They are an organizational nightmare.
No matter how many letters, emails, texts, and phone calls are put out there to get letters from parents in on time, the organizers of this activity are almost always scrambling at the last minute to ensure that every kid has a letter. Sometimes not every kid gets a letter. I have seen this happen and it is heartbreaking when everyone else gets a letter from at least one parent and there is a kid who gets a letter from a teacher or youth minister or campus minister instead; this causes more hurt than we can imagine.
This issue can be exacerbated by how many hurting families there are in our world. The quantities of letters are often variable. There is rarely any quality control, and what is in these letters can devastate teens.
I once spoke to a teenage boy who told me with tears in his eyes that one of his letters was a tirade from his dad about all of the ways that he needed to improve his life — the letter lacked any loving affirmation. Another time a kid simply received a Hallmark card that was signed by his parents.
I have to be honest, though. There can be a good side to these letters from parents: Some organizers do a great job of ensuring that every kid gets a letter from at least one parent.
I have had teens tell me on numerous occasions that the letters from parents was the most touching, powerful, and memorable part of their retreat.
It is a great thing for parents; if they clearly know what such a letter should include, the overwhelming majority will rise to the occasion and express incredible love to their kids through these letters.
It puts a spotlight on parenting. Though we in youth ministry know that parents are the primary educators of their kids in matters of faith, this is easily forgotten in practice. These letters can be a powerful reminder to teens about how much God loves them through their parents.
In order for this activity to work well, then, I believe that we must count the cost before doing it and be willing to invest plenty of time and energy into making sure that it works well. If we follow a few practical guidelines, we can protect teens from potential hurt and pain, while ensuring - to the best of our ability - that this experience is incredibly positive.
If you ever want to include letters from parents on future retreats or ministry events, I suggest that you hold a mandatory parent meeting where you discuss the importance of these letters The problem with such a meeting, is, of course, that those who need the most guidance rarely show up.
This adds another layer to the organizational nightmare, requiring sign-in sheets and following up with those who were absent. Here are some things to seriously consider including in such a meeting: Let parents know that if you do not receive their letters by a certain deadline, you will not distribute letters to anyone on the retreat.
This rule must be uncompromising; the quality of the retreat experience cannot be diminished because of disorganized parents. Give a serious deadline.
I suggest two weeks in advance of the retreat, in light of what you will read in 5 below.
Give the parents some sample letters, both good and bad, so they will know clearly what to do and what not to do. If possible, you might want to have an older student attend the meeting and read a sample of a positive letter they received at a past retreat, highlighting what touched them and why.
Tell parents that you will read every letter as soon as it is turned in and that you will check all letters for appropriateness — not only because of how poorly written letters can be hurtful to teens, but to ensure that the experience is as powerful as it can be.
This may sound crazy and controversial and might meet some resistance, but I have a friend who instituted this practice several years ago.Early the next morning, I got this letter in my inbox from one of the mothers: Dear Ronit, Just a quick note to you and the team at Together for Humanity to say thank you so much for asking my son to your camp.
Home» Family Matters» Parenting» I Believe in You (4): The letters. First, I wrote about what happened when I asked the parents to write a letter to their kids. These parents only had my sample letter to help them with ideas, but I hope you will be in a better position after reading more letters and knowing how kids responded and.
An example of a Kairos letter. Each participant receives a bag full of letters written individually by each of the team members! Use these 30 writing ideas to encourage your students to write a scary story for an assignment in your class is a great way to introduce the horror genre to them while also focusing on their creative writing.
A Letter To My Daughter – You Are Loved! February 2, by Betsy Chasse 2 Comments. a letter from a mom to her older daughter.
It inspired me to sit down and write my own. My daughter is about to be nine and soon hanging with mom might not be so cool.
Although I harbor the hope that she will still find the time to sit with me at night.
Mar 01, · A Letter to My 16 Year Old Daughter **Note: I went on retreat last week with Mary Kate and we were asked to write a letter to each other. Of course, I wrote and wrote but my paper and my time were limited so for a week, I've continued the letter in my head.
Sep 07, · Writing a kairos letter..? my boyfriend of two years is going on kairos in about a week or so, and i need to write him a letter. for those who don't know, kairos is a retreat where you learn about yourself and the other people who are on it with monstermanfilm.com: Resolved.