Another effective communication form to connect with your daughter comes in the form of writing. Writing is a very effective form of communication. Some people even grasp more information by seeing the message than they do by hearing it. Even if daughters are too young to read, they treasure notes and cards from daddy. Taking time out of your schedule to write to her shows your daughter that you are thinking about her even when she is not around. This is a yearning all females have—to be thought about in absentia.
Tips for Writing to Your Daughter
• Write letters to each other—especially during times when communication is difficult.
• Be open and honest—it’s often easier to write feelings than to say them.
• Put a handwritten note in her lunch bag or backpack before school.
• Send her cards in the mail (even if she still lives with you) for her birthday or other special dates. Take the time to write something from your heart. Remember that females actually believe the words printed on greeting cards.
• Give her a hand-written invitation the next time you take her somewhere special.
• Write down a list of all the things you like about her. Put a ribbon around it and give it to her for no reason.
I found letter writing to be a successful way to communicate with my daughter, especially when it was difficult to say things to her. Even short notes are very effective. Why do you think girls are always passing notes back and forth to one another? Well, I guess they used to—now they just text each other. But you get the point. In fact, if you are much more technically savvy than I am you might text her during the day just to let her know you are thinking about her. Text her a short quote of advice every day. She might think it’s corny, but I bet she’ll look forward to your message every day.
Teenage girls are also really good at listening to a portion of what you say and then rolling their eyes and shutting down, ignoring the rest of your message. A letter requires the reader to “listen” to everything you have to say without interrupting. It also takes out all the subtle non-verbal cues (facial expressions, voice inflections, and so forth) that might skew the content of your message. I found that when hormones were coursing through my daughter’s body, she just looked for excuses to argue or get upset. I could inadvertently distract her from the point of my message merely by the nuances in my voice or an unintentional “look” during a discussion. This, of course, allowed her the luxury of getting upset and stomping off instead of hearing my side of the issue. This is also a battle strategy that girls use in the war on parents. If they can get the emotional upper hand, they win the argument. It is also a form of control they can use to get what they want, or at least bend the discussion in the direction they want. By changing the discussion to an emotional plane, they garner control over it. Your challenge is to keep things logical and on task. Trust me on this—you are doomed to lose the upper hand if it devolves to an emotional debate.
But people cannot help but read what is written to them. The next time you get a card in the mail or someone hands you a note, try your best not to read it. You’ll be surprised at how difficult it is—your curiosity always gets the best of your will power! My daughter has kept nearly every letter I wrote her and has told me she still reads them frequently.
Write your daughter a note the next time there is an important occasion or if you have something you want her to remember. Just be sure to end it by telling her how much you love her.