I put my hand on Katherine’s doorknob and as I began to open the door, the door prematurely stopped. It wasn’t quite halfway open and I could feel the door stopped against something soft. It felt like there was something on the floor in between the door and the wall.
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I stepped inside and closed the door to see what was preventing the door from opening all the way. This little guy was wedged near the hinge. When I reached down to get it out, I noticed something interesting.
13 pink Post-It notes on the back of the door.
These weren’t any Post-it notes. These were the Post-it notes I left on her door a full 12 months ago which I bought from Office Monster.
Did she really keep these notes this long?
Why were they stuck to the inside of her door?
Last February, in addition to having our kids show appreciation for members of our family, I decided to write a note of appreciation to each of our kids for the 14 days of February leading up to Valentine’s Day.
These little love notes began as a way to make them each feel special and to create a little connection between us.
Did she really keep these up this long?
I couldn’t stop thinking about why these pink Post-it notes were still on the inside of her door. So I asked her.
“Hey, Katherine? I noticed the pink Post-it notes on the inside of your door. Can you tell me why you didn’t throw them out and why you’ve kept them since last Valentine’s Day?”
The answers are simple.
She keeps them up because she likes reading them.
She reads them when she feels sad.
She reads them when she feels frustrated.
She reads them when she’s angry.
She reads them when she’s happy.
She reads them all the time, pretty much.
They make her feel good.
This little gesture had such an impact on her and filled her up when she needed it most.
This shouldn’t have surprised me. I already knew the kids loved my lunch notes.
This note tradition wasn’t started by me.
This tradition was started by my husband.
When we were first married, Matt would write me little notes and leave them places in the house. I’d open a cabinet to get a drinking glass or I’d open the closet to get a towel and I’d find a little note of appreciation. He still writes me notes now.
It made me feel special, important, and connected. It inspired me to started to write him notes. I would stick them to his steering wheel, inside his work bag, or in his wallet.
Writing notes connected us a little more.
If I was having a bad day and found a note stuck to the milk, it would turn my day around.
Because I remember the impact of a note, I periodically leave all the girls notes in places they can find them. I always leave them a note when I travel, too.
INSERT PHOTOS OF TRAVELING NOTES
Here’s the interesting thing: the girls now write ME notes! They’ve recognized the impact notes have on themselves and leave me little notes around the house.
They also write notes to each other! They’ll sometimes write a note and stick it under each other’s pillow or in their lunchbox.
Try it with your own kids!
Write a little note of appreciation to your child. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Stick it to their bedroom door so they’ll see it as they enter their room. I guarantee they’ll look for it when they leave their rooms, as well.
I start each of our notes with “I love…” or “I’m thankful…” because I want them to know these are things I truly love about them. I pick qualities they possess that are good character traits and even try to turn the things which drive me crazy into a positive. For example, one of the girls has been super silly at the most inopportune times (bedtime, for example). On one of her notes I wrote, “I love how you always like to have fun.” Of course, it drives me crazy when she’s running around the house at bedtime trying to play tag. But you know what? She’s being a kid and having fun and those are the moments she’ll remember.
Here’s an example of some of the notes I already wrote this month.
You can use any color Post-it notes. I grabbed a stack like this. You can also use these festive Post-its or even these fun ones. They also sell these large ones which would be great if you wanted to write notes on it daily for a week.
I know some of you may be shaking your head thinking this would be one more thing to take up your time and you won’t be able to follow through. You can do this 1 of 2 ways.
- Make it a random activity. Write one note a week or even one note a month. I suggest giving yourself a reminder so you don’t forget to do it every once in a while. We parents get so busy that it’s easy for this activity to fall through the cracks. There are no rules! Do it anyway it works for you.
- Give yourself a time frame. Do notes every day for a week or even just a weekend. Because it’s not a long period of time, you can write all your notes out ahead of time. I often write a week’s worth of notes at a time. It only takes a few minutes.
You can do this simple activity anytime you need to build a stronger connection with your child.
I guarantee you’ll see your child’s face light up!
Don’t forget to include your partner.
Everyone likes to know they are loved and appreciated and this is the easiest way to do just that. I still cherish Matt’s notes now as much as I did when we were first married.
Click here to read how to foster a strong sibling bond
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