Do you remember the joy we felt when we received letters from our loved ones? Or with what happiness we used to read those letters? Ah! I miss the love I felt reading those letter and the eagerness when the postman arrived with a letter with my name on it. I really wish my son gets to know the feelings I am talking about.
With the advent of technological gadgets, people have forgotten to write letters. Everything has come online; emails have changed to SMSs and Whatsapp messages. It’s disheartening to say that our children do not know the art of writing letters outside of the classrooms. Children are living in a fast and exciting world where they have no time to sit and write letters to anyone. In this world of mobile phones, asking our children to write a letter to someone will get us an eye roll and lines like ‘mom, please! Write a letter? Are you for real? Who even does that today?
Why is letter writing important?
Writing personal letters tend to increase the bond between the people, be it friends or family members. There is an increase in communication between people and with that comes an unbreakable bond. Writing letters to near and dear ones hone their writing skills and the children learn better ways to put their feelings into words. Writing letters on regular basis builds confidence in children and they are able to perform better in the exams.
Letter when handwritten add a personal touch to the communication that other mediums cannot reach. Handwritten letters are more personal and thoughtful and add a deeper emotion that emails and Twitter update lack.
Getting a letter from a loved one shows us that the person writing the letter cares for us and taken out time to sit and pen down the emotions and feelings in words. I have always loved receiving letters and have stored all letters in a box and take out every once in a while to re-read them and reminisce the good times. Some letters bring back tears, some bring smiles and some come with a favourite memory.
Children today, are unaware of these feelings and live the abbreviated version of life, where everything is fast and short.
So how do we encourage them?
Start young; inculcate the habit of writing letters at a young age. The letters can be written to anyone, to self, or to mom or dad or grandparents living far away, even family pets. But they should write, pouring out what they are feeling at that point of time. As the kids grow asking them to start doing something new is quite challenging. I must say, once the kids are old enough that they understand things from their friends’ point of view, teaching them to do something is a herculean task.
While you teach them to write letters, make sure they also receive letters. Until they don’t understand the joy of receiving the letters, they will not understand the happiness they are going to be giving someone else by writing a letter to them.
We as parents can make the writing time interesting by converting them into games for the younger children and a challenge for the older kids. Writing personal letters help in forging stronger ties with people we don’t see on regular basis. Thus we have to make the kids understand the importance of writing personal letters as a means of communication between people.
Mobile, tabs, emails, Facebook, are all nice ways to communicate with others, it’s also nice to hear each other’s voices once in a while, but the traditional method of writing letters puts into words what we are feeling and is etched for time immemorial.