- Family and Parenting
How to Write a Letter to A Special Baby in Your Life (Niece, Nephew, or Close Friend's Child)
Lest you think a relationship with a child occurs only after he or she is born, think again. There are various ways to “connect” to a baby on the way and plant the seeds of a long-term relationship. One way to do this is through writing a letter.
Before I became an aunt myself, I witnessed several close friends make the transition to parenthood with the birth of their own children. As they were expecting, I too was excited and anticipating, and my natural inclination was to express my joy and hope in writing.
It soon came to me that if pregnant women wrote letters to their future children, then why couldn’t I for the forthcoming children of my dearest friends and siblings?
I took the mini revelation to heart and decided that a positive, heartfelt letter or poem addressed to a special baby in my life would be a thoughtful gift and serve as a fulfilling mode of personal expression. Since starting this practice, I have found it a rewarding experience.
The following are tips for creating a personalized piece of writing addressed to a child soon to be or already in your life. There is no right or wrong way although having a positive tone is definitely recommend. Additionally, it can certainly be for any child with personal significance to you (regardless of this hub’s title).
Prepare your mind and heart.
Take some quiet time to reflect on what you’d like to express in your writing. Some things you may want to think about: your relationship and history with the baby’s parent(s), shared memories of milestones in the pregnancy, your own anticipation, hopes and feelings, what promising things await the baby, and words of encouragement, love, and wisdom you’d like to impart.
Stick to what you feel most comfortable with.
If a letter format is up your alley then go for it. If you feel poetry suits you more, feel free to venture in that direction. If drawing is more your strong suit explore that in lieu of or in addition to written text. Allow yourself to communicate sincerely as you share your heart with this child.
Don’t worry too much about particulars.
How you approach the level of writing is up to what you may desire. For example, if you’d like the baby to be able to appreciate your letter sooner than letter you may consider writing at a reading level a grade-schooler could understand. In the meantime of course, you may suggest to the child’s parents that the letter be read to him/her.
Include special extras.
A good photo of yourself or one with you and your pregnant friend adds a memorable touch. It may also help the baby later connect your name to your face with repeated exposure (think flipping through a scrapbook containing the letter with Mom and Dad). Add colorful stickers or include a drawing as you feel fit. Children respond to bright colors and various shapes and textures.
Choose your presentation.
Perhaps you decide to include the letter in a greeting card or simply enclose it in a tidy envelope. Maybe you opt to print it and frame it. Would you enclose it with a baby shower gift? Would you give it before the baby is born or shortly afterwards? Perhaps you’d rather present it in person, reading your letter or reciting your poem. Maybe still, you choose to record your own voice or videotape yourself conveying your letter and gift it as a CD/DVD or digital file.
Keep a copy for yourself.
As much as this may be for someone else, it’s still an extension of you. Preserve a copy for yourself that you can look back upon, cherish and enjoy for years to come.
Writing a letter or composing a poem for that special child in your life is as much about giving as it is receiving. You will find that the smiles and appreciation go both ways and can enhance your relationship with your friends (or family members) and their children. You may also learn new things about yourself as you take the time to compose the material.
On a closing note, a very touching moment for me was when a best friend shared that her infant daughter would often have her read a poem I created and gifted; she would simply point to the wall where it was posted in her room and her parents knew exactly what to do. Needless to say, that was very worthwhile to hear.