“I love you,” “You're the treasure of my life,” and “I'll always be there for you,” are things all children want and need to hear from their dads. A new book called Letters from Dad by Greg Vaughn (Integrity Publishers 2005) helps fathers leave a legacy by saying the things they've always wanted to say but just didn't know how. Letters from Dad has helped to restore family communication, mend and heal marriages, and reconcile parents with children all through the simple practice of letter-writing.
President of the National Center of Fathering, Dr. Ken Canfield, says, “There is a new movement emerging that is capturing the hearts of fathers throughout the country called Letters from Dad. It's changing men's lives!”
Author Greg Vaughn recalls, “I was in the garage looking at a rusty tackle box my father had left me. I realized that he died without leaving me a note or even a signature. Then it hit me that if I were to die, my children would not have a message from me to hold in their hands either. That's how Letters from Dad was born. From there I called 12 other fathers, and we worked together to figure out how to leave our faith, hope, and love with our children. The group grew from 150 to 600 fathers in less than a year. Now we're preparing to launch more than 1,000 Legacy Groups nationwide.”
Vaughn's book offers many tips for becoming a better parent through letter-writing by applying three essential communication principles with your children:
1. Words of High Praise: Children need to hear things like, “Have I told you lately that you are very special to me?” “You bring such joy to my life,” and “You are loved by so many people.”“The Letters from Dad program has changed my family forever,” says participant Jim Clark, “I can now communicate my love and deep affection as never before. Learning to write letters of blessing to my family is truly a treasured gift.”
2. Picturing a Special Future: Share your vision for your children. Let them know how you think they will impact the world. Tell your children, “When I look at you, I see that you can become ___,” Remind them that their dreams can come true.
3. Active Commitment: Let them know that your love is unconditional and enduring. Make sure they hear you say, “Sweetheart, you need to know something: I am here for you, no matter what.”
About the Author
Greg Vaughn, the founder of Letters From Dad, has spent 30 years creating companies that have impacted the world. He is the president of Grace Products and works directly with over 85,000 local churches. He is a two-time Emmy award-winning film producer for his educational series In Search of the Heroes. He and his wife, Carolyn, have seven children and live in McKinney, Texas.