“It’s my turn, It’s my turn,” Isabella was expressing in her fervent voice as she ran to the mailbox. William had already won the race to the mailbox. I watched them as they ran to the mailbox and noticed how much they enjoyed doing this. I know as an adult I look forward to getting mail, the fun kind of course. As I think back, when I was a kid, I had a mailbox, one from Fisher Price or something similar. I can picture myself looking in the mailbox, wondering when the mail was going to arrive or how it was going to get there. When it appeared, I would be there to get it! I Wondered if there might be a letter, a surprise something special in that box for me. That must be the excitement of the little ones–wondering if there is something mysterious and fun in the mailbox. That day, I decided that they would each get their own mailboxes. I wasn’t sure how it was all going to come together or how it was going to work, or if they would even like it. I decided to have them make their own mailbox, well, at least paint their own mailboxes. We went to the craft store, picked up some unpainted wood boxes and brought them home to paint. William, Isabella, Daddy and Mommy and even one for Liam who was not born yet. They enjoyed this project and the idea that they would receive mail. We found a spot on a shelf in our family room that fits all of our mailboxes. When the red flag is up, there is mail! I write to each child, just a simple letter. The way I organized it is beginning with how the day was, notice some good things I saw in them during the day and remind them of some things they could work on to help themselves become better in their relationships, behaviors and actions with their family, friends and those they interact with. I include a little treat along with the letter. Perhaps it is the treat they like! Though, I have found that it is a great way to communicate and spend time with my children. We became quite regular at our mailbox time though for some reason we stopped. I thought the kids didn’t enjoy it, I thought I didn’t enjoy it. Today, I realized that I did enjoy it even thought it takes a bit of extra work. I also realized that it makes a difference to my kids and myself. I have not committed to everyday of mailbox though I will work to fit it in as much as I can. If you are looking for a fun way to spend time, talk to, or read to your kids, try a mailbox!
I include below an example of a letter I write to my kids.
Wow! I can’t believe how fast today went. Today was your first day of 2nd grade! How did it go? (He usually answers *smiles*) I have noticed that you have been working really hard at being an example to your brother and sister. That really helps mommy and daddy and our family. Thank you for doing that. Oh, I also noticed that you had a harder time sharing your toys today. Do you think you could work on sharing when your sister is asking? Alright, time for bed!
Dad and Mom
I usually include this as part of our bedtime routine. It is relaxing for the kids and for me. I have found it is a good way to wind down the day.
Have you used a mailbox with your kids? Does it work for you and your family?