If you are a paper lover then you probably have some old (or new) scrapbooking supplies lying around the house.
Did you know that you can use these scrapbooking supplies to improve communication and relationships with your teenage children? (Actually, it works for all ages – but those teenagers are definitely harder to reach).
If you have kids of any age and love paper crafts, too, this might be something you want to do as well.
Parents and Teens
When kids are young, mom and dad are their whole world. They cherish every interaction and want nothing more than to spend time with their parents.
As kids get older, that changes. In many instances – they don't want mom and dad anywhere near their world, unless they need something, of course.
Given everyone's busy schedules and the short attention span of teenagers – it can be hard to communicate.
It seems, especially to teenagers, that when parents talk – it is usually a lecture or reminders to do something or another.
Misunderstanding can set in because they feel that we don't get them or care about their life.
The Covert Communication Device
If this situation sounds familiar to you – then whip out your scrapbooking supplies because the bonding starts now.
Betcha didn't know that there is one thing that your kids take to school each day that you can use to grab their attention and let them know how much you care.
Are you ready? It's their lunch.
Yup. The school lunch is actually a communication device in disguise.
I have seen parents of young children write notes on the outside of brown bags or scribble a sweet nothing on a napkin.
Teens Don't Want Notes
When kids get older, the practice generally stops. No kid wants to be embarrassed by a love note from mom.
My kids included.
Yet lunch is a time every day where your child takes a break, sits down to eat, and is very open to reading something while they chew.
It is an opportunity for you to connect with them through an old fashioned piece of paper.
It is longer lasting than an electronic text. They can hold it, read it, reread it, and just for a moment take time out of their day to reflect on the feeling that you put into the note and on your words.
What Will You Write To Your Teen?
Recently, I decided that I wanted to start the lunch note thing again with my kids. After all, I only have a few years before they head off into the world.
But honestly, I didn't know what to write.
I didn't want to a factual to do list nor did I want to write something deeply emotional – which would go over like a ton of bricks.
Enter Your Secret Weapon – Scrapbooking Supplies
What I ended up doing was pulling out my old scrapbooking supplies.
My mission was to write an uplifting message, that incorporated a somewhat current past, present, or future event in my child's life.
I used fancy papers, stickers, letters, stencils, and colored pens to make the message come to life or add a little whimsy.
I figured that the note would be just weird enough to be cool.
And I think I was right. I am certain that my daughter must comment to her friends on how weird her mother is – as she pulls the note out of her lunch bag.
But she has also mentioned that her friends are “jealous” of her notes and wish they got them too. Are you listening, moms? This is your golden opportunity.
This is so simple that I don't mean to be patronizing by giving you an example.
Recently my daughter had an orchestra concert. On the day of the concert, I wrote her a note that was adorned with music notes, clefs, and instrument related stickers.
The message was simply that I was looking forward to the concert and that I knew she would be awesome.
I know what you are thinking – I don't have time for that. Seriously, who does?
The point here is not perfection, it is the message.
Trust me, my notes are quickly written and the stickers are applied hastily.
My Kids Make Their Own Lunch
This will work regardless of whether you encourage your kids to make their own school lunches or you pack their lunches for them.
All you need to do is write the note and pop it in their lunch bag.
The Best Scrapbooking Supplies for the Job
I have found that decorative mat papers that are 6 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches work best. I fold these in half to make a foldover card.
Stickers that are subject oriented are a must. Think about what your kids or family like to do or eat. Holiday stickers are fun, too.
I also use fun Washi Tape to make a quick border if I don't have time to dig out a relevant sticker.
Will Your Teens Like Notes From You?
So, do you think your teens will be open to receiving notes from you in their school lunch? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments below.