Better Communication Through Letters

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Debbie Ronca is President of Sequoia coaching a Certified Life Coach. Speaker and disc profile trainer with John Maxwell team she is also the author of the family letter how to intentionally develop a culture of honor encouragement and value with your loved ones a bestseller in nine relationship in Harrington Categories Ronco wants start a global movement. So other families also benefit on the family wetter. We're going to talk about this today with Debbie. Debbie welcome to the show. Thank you so much for coming on. You are locked them. And thank you for having me of course so debbie for a lot of our listeners. That might not know what a family letter is. Could you go ahead and tell them what the impact of a family letter is and really what they could get out of it? That's a great question. Read on the family letter was basically something that we started as a tradition in our family years ago when our kids were growing up we had the intention of teaching them how to use their words To be encouraged others to be able to use the words to bless another person. And you know. Sometimes it's really hard for kids especially to verbalize. They feel a little embarrassed or uncomfortable. So we've found that using a letter was the safe way to go. That's great So I myself actually have done something like a family letter before in my family. It's not quite what you do But it really helped teach me how to express myself to my family in a healthy way and really be able to communicate and open wider doors. Is that the same hope that you are looking for with your letter. Absolutely the whole intent really is to let the other person know why their loved valued in celebrated and when you hear that from other family members it really just builds wonderful foundation of trust and connection and a bond and read what we did specifically is. We made it a tradition on our birthdays. We thought why not birthdays the day. Everyone is celebrated right so why not let that be the day that we received this letter and so we taught our children from the time they were young and of course we made the what the intent that had to be in the letter? Simple so they could do it and you know when I speak at women's events I always tell the moms don't worry about the grammar. Don't worry about the punctuation year teaching them how you used the words and you don't ever want to make them feel it has to be perfect because it's coming from their heart and of course as our family grew and I say read. We've been doing this now for over thirty years and after thirty years our children thirty eight thirty seven and thirty five. They still want their letters. I mean it is a big tradition in our house. Love that I love that. That's fantastic. Could you dive a little deeper into the content of these family letters absolutely well like in the beginning we make it really simple for the kids because we want them to right so it really? You need to not just tell the person you love them but why because when you specifically say why it goes deeper you know. It's just not the Cliche I love you but when you hear why and then you want to celebrate their gifts and talents you wanNA recognize Any celebrations in their life and of course as we got older we expanded that. So Ah Chris. Reflecting on the past year of this person's life were on their birthday. And you know everybody walks through a dark time trial a difficulty and we write about that in the letter like Geez. Jonathan I remember when you were going through that difficult relationship and the way that you handle bit really made us proud of you. You showed a lot of kindness and compassion and so we actually recognize encourage. The person helping walk through difficult times as well. That's really nice to hear. I think a struggle that a lot of families go through not just with something like this but milestones for any of their children is. When do we start you know? When do we put him on a bike? When do we teach them how to do this? When would you say is a good time to get your children to start being engaged in this? When we started the letter read. Our children were five and seven while and then we had an remind you that the letters were short but they were learning how to communicate and we had our third child when he turned five. We would always do this moment of re writing letters and reading the letters at our dining room table so he grew up here in his father received letters his mother his brother and sister so when he turned five he said. I WANNA DO LETTERS. I want in and so he actually turned from the Observer to the writer so he started as early as five and I believe the power in at read is the consistency like we chose birthdays. And so we know every birthday we're gonNA gather and have letters and of course being a mother and a father. We've added the mother and father's day letter in there too. Oh of course you have to make sure that you've got a little extra recognition for all the hard work you do for raising your children It's the best gift. Jerry Seib really love those letters absolutely so I think like anybody else. Not all of our lives are rainbows and lollipops. Right kind of goes through a hard time and sometimes that hard time is reflected onto our family. How can the letter be used as a catalyst for accomplishing forgiveness? Or even reconciling some things in the past one of the best ways that I think he can open up. The line of Communications is through the power of a letter. I would think that you would agree with me read. Don't you feel that when a relationship is broken? One of the most difficult things is to be able to come back and talk face to face because there's so much hurt and there's so much wounding and you still wind up fighting and you don't reconcile but I feel when you can write in a letter. What you like about that person. What you love about that person that you've missed the relationship that you're sorry that they disagreed you know. Can we start again? I believe you can maybe crack a door open. That has been slammed shut for years and that could be the beginning of the communication. Because it's a safe place to see if you can open that door again and we have a great story with our children. They were seven and five at the time at that time. We were doing Christmas letters as well. And you know how children are they. Can they argue? They fight and they wrote their letters and nobody knows what's written in the letter to you. Read it and my daughter wrote a letter to her brother saying that she was so sorry that he was mean to her and he she wished that he could be a nicer brother and my son and in his letter to his sister wrote. I know I haven't been a great brother and I know I've been hard on you. I'm really sorry. When they both read their letters. They looked at each other and they ran over and they hugged each other and Oracle. The letter gave the voice to the prop room. And so I know children can do that. I really believe adults can do that. And you know in this crisis time read. I'm really thinking hearts are being tender is D- A lot of people are klaren teen. A lot of people are thinking about really what is important in life now. This may be a great time to write that letter to that broken relationship and try to restore it absolutely. I think as many people would agree with me. A family is very important especially during these times. That's really who you're GONNA hold dear. You have close. I know I personally have been talking to my mother way more than I have before during this little walk down. I'm sure this letter can go even further pass. Your family can not absolutely you know. I believe everybody in life should receive a letter from someone so I really think if you sat down and thought about it you may have that teacher that mentor that business partner that neighbor that Fran and somebody who's impacted your life that you could just take time and write them a letter to let them know how they impacted your life. It would mean the world to them

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