Writing Love Notes With My Daughters

Janene Goodman is Girls Leadership’s Accounting Manager, and we asked her to share how writing Love Notes went for her and her girls.

As Moms of teenage girls know – you are not viewed as perfect and you definitely cannot perfectly predict their reaction to an idea that you think is perfectly wonderful.

The morning of Super Bowl Sunday over breakfast I shared the Girls Leadership Love Notes idea with Emily and Erica. Erica is my high school senior and Emily is my 8th grader (my 10th grader slept through breakfast and lunch – waking up in time to request a ride to a last minute lacrosse practice).

IMG_9274My oldest, and self-proclaimed wisest, quickly dismissed the idea as “non-authentic” and would not be participating unless it she was “forced to”. She told the story how she had recently given authentic compliments to two students at her school through their “compliments corner”. These compliments, which are read to the school at their weekly all school meetings, were authentic in her eyes and required no further explanation. When asked for more information there was a quick eye roll.

My youngest, looking up to her sister, was less than enthusiastic. She questioned who to give them to and how. We discussed different options and avenues. Texting? No – not personal enough and could be misread. To friends, coaches, teachers? To a middle schooler some of these ideas bring forward insecurities and doubt.

IMG_9267Above are some of these love notes I wrote to my girls that day. I left them in their rooms and left blank note cards on the kitchen island. At some point as your children grow up, you move from a manager role to more of a consultant role. Since I would not (and realistically could not) force my daughters to participate I left the notes there and hoped for the “best”.

At breakfast on Monday Emily thanked me for the love note and gave me a verbal love note. Loved it – very much her style. Cate, my middle, was brought up to speed on this idea. Half asleep she gave the idea a nod of her head. She hadn’t seen the note in her room yet (which wasn’t surprising to anyone).

Today when I got home I found this love note written by Emily:IMG_9294It is to my sister Corinne – my daughter’s favorite aunt. The blank cards are still there, and there is still a day or so to get in the mail. Still hoping to be surprised…

When Erica got home from school she shared some very exciting news. She was invited to a small private dinner at her school with the head of UC Berkeley’s engineering program. Her favorite science teacher recommended her based on her “dedication and devotion to science”. After celebrating with her and enjoying the moment I asked if she would think about sending her teacher a “love note”. To which she replied “maybe”.

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