The Value of Hand-Written Notes

There is something really special about receiving a hand-written note from someone you love. I experienced the power of this first hand last week at a 3-day father-daughter retreat in Colorado. We had each of the pairs write each other a love letter, and then on the last evening of the retreat we all sat around a campfire, with mountains on the horizon and stars twinkling above. They all found a spot to cuddle up together, the dads read their letter to their middle school daughter, and then the girls read theirs to their dad. And believe me, there was not a dry eye in the house.

My daughter Kelly and I on her wedding day

Many of the girls shared that although they knew their dads loved them, they didn’t realize how much they were loved and how many qualities their dads appreciated in them. As for the dads, it was just a heart-felt affirmation of the special bond between fathers and daughters. Many dads shared that the unconditional love they received from their daughters was unlike any they had experienced in their entire lives. And all of this incredible bonding came from the hand-written word.

We have a special tradition  at my summer camps where we have every parent secretly write their camper a love letter. On the last day of camp, we have them read the letters, and it’s a very emotional moment. It’s so quiet while they are reading that you could hear a pin drop, and many tears are shed.  It’s a great way to help them transition from the loving camp cocoon they’ve been in all week back to the real world. And it reminds them that even if they have had some power struggles, disagreements, or angry words with their folks, their parents love them dearly.

Despite all the new gadgets and technologies around today, I would highly recommend that you use the old school pen and paper method when writing love letters to your children. Reading a letter in a loved-ones handwriting just feels more personal and special;  the love and affection oozes out of such a note much more-so than when typed. Make love letter writing a new tradition in your family.


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