The best way to express pride: Your own letter to the graduate

COPING

May 14, 1991|By Barbara Turk, M.S.

Your son/daughter is graduating. You can scarcely believe he's almost an adult. It's such a milestone. And while fountain pens and watches are traditional and lovely gifts, somehow that's not enough. Your love and pride in your child -- all the things you want to express -- cannot be said adequately by something wrapped up in a box.

What to do?

In addition to the gaily wrapped present he will be hoping for, why not give him the gift of a hand-written letter that expresses your wishes for his adult life? Of course you'll want to use your own thoughts and hopes, but here's a few ideas just to start you thinking:

"There are many gifts I would like to give you to carry you through life. I haven't got the power to give them to you, but, still, I can wish them, hope them, for you.

"I hope:

* You will develop the best in yourself, whatever that may be.

* You will have pride in who you are and in the heritage from which you come.

* You will have compassion and forgiveness in order to keep your heart free.

* You will have the maturity to make wise choices.

* Assuming you marry, you will have a mate who will have the unselfishness and maturity to be a 50/50 partner. That he/she will have tenderness and love for you, and have the kind of values and behavior you want your children to experience.

"I also hope:

* You will always have work that you care about and feel proud of doing.

* You have a sense of humor to help you through the rough spots and add lightness to each day.

"And I hope that by your life's example you will contribute to the well-being of the world."

9- P.S. -- Don't forget to say "I love you."

Barbara Turk is a psychotherapist in private practice.

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