Truth: Kids need to be told they are loved. They need to be encouraged. They need to be thanked for doing as they are asked, or going above and beyond. They need to be reminded that they are a very important part of their family. They need to hear things that make them confident in who they are. And they need to feel comfortable talking to their parents and telling their mom and dad what is on their hearts.
Enter: The mailbox system.
I have been waiting nearly a year for Valentine's season to come around again. As far as I know, it's the only time to score these fabulous little tin mailboxes. I found mine for a dollar each in the Target Dollar Spot. Sweet.
Some sparkly black stickers in mixed fonts on the front, and we have our own little way to communicate with each other, aside from just the usual spoken words, which are sometimes too easily forgotten.
When we have something nice, or encouraging to say to one of the kids, along with saying it out loud, we can write it down and put it in their box. That little note - while seemingly small and unimportant, can then be saved in a special place and looked at years from now... or tomorrow... whenever the need arises. Dramatic little girls often say things like, "You never appreciate ANYTHING I do!" or "I don't ever do ANYTHING right." Well, this is written proof that they must be wrong.
I put the boxes right at the bottom of the stairs on a little shelf, where each of us passes by several times each day. The plan is that if one's mailbox flag is up, they have mail. (And just in case you don't see it, there is guaranteed to be someone saying "You've Got Mail!" all AOL-esque.) So far I have received a lovely picture of Chloe and I having a picnic and watching chickens peck the ground, and a letter from Cora that says "Cora Mom Lowe". Because it's easy to mix up W and V when you are five. But that's okay, I'll take it.
Even The Daddy got in on the game, leaving a note for each of us before he left for work the other morning. I can say from experience that hearing kind, edifying words from one's Daddy means The World to little girls. I also remember how much easier it was to write things than it was to say them - and The Oldest is already proving that point is true for more than just wordy people like myself. Anything she needs to say that she doesn't feel like she can voice out loud, she can write down and deliver at the mail center. This also makes good use of her "Check yes or no" letters that she is so fond of writing.
All in all, it seems like a fun way to say a few sweet things to each other, and to open up another line of communication for our girls - because there can never be too much communication!