I need ideas on what to write to my 6-year-old sponsor boy :)

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Hello! I have been a child sponsor for over 2 years and have a correspondent child now as well. I love having the opportunity to write to both of them; however, I have the most terrible time coming up with ideas to write about! I find it easier to write to my correspondent child, and 11-year-old, than my sponsor child, who is 6-years-old. I would love some tips and ideas.  on how to write to younger children who are not yet able to read or write letters for themselves yet. Thank you! 
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Mariah

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Posted 3 years ago

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Keeli

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Hi Mariah! I recommend just writing from your heart. Don't feel you have to "write down" or write choppy to a younger child. Their counselor will read the letters to them, their guardians will read the letters, and your child will save your letters and read them over and over when they are older.

I don't see anything wrong with writing to your younger child in the same way you do with your 11 year old. I would recommend always encouraging them, praising them, telling them you love them, Jesus loves them and has great plans for them...just love on them. You could also write prayers. Don't stress...let your heart guide you.
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Adam

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You are such a great writer, Keeli! I hope you don't mind, but I wanted to share this post here about the Secret Ingredients to Letter Writing that I thought was really good and applies to this conversation.

I was really inspired and encouraged by this post about building trust and being a sponsor. I thought that post was excellent! And I was reading this post about "What to Expect When You're Expecting a Compassion Child" :) and I realized I had never thought about telling my sponsored kids why I chose them. I'm sure they probably do wonder why we chose to sponsor them!

I also really liked your sponsorship story, and the part about putting your lunch through the computer monitor cracked me up. I think it takes a lot of courage to do a blog and I admire you for doing that. I was a little nervous just sharing my letters that I wrote below, lol. I can tell you spend a lot of time working on it and I can also tell that you are an awesome sponsor! I said a prayer for Lucky that God would bless him and help him to accomplish his dreams of becoming a lawyer. It sounds like he's a great kid. I am now a faithful subscriber and I look forward to hearing more about him! :)
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Keeli

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Adam - Wow! Thank you for all of your kind words and expecially praying for Lucky! That means so much to me, and you have encouraged me to keep blogging when I doubt myself pretty much everyday. Blogging is very scary, but aren't callings from God typically scary and take us out of our comfort zone?

Definitely share any of my posts if you feel it would help someone. One of my main purposes of the blog is to help sponsors and inspire them to write and really connect with their children. :)
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Adam

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Yes, I think so, and we all have doubts and we all have fears and struggles but the difference is in how we deal with them. I think our biggest battles take place in our minds and that's where success happens first. Successful people and people who really make a difference know how to overcome adversity and negativity and keep going. I've been thinking a lot about that lately so I'm not just talking about your blog, haha. Your doing great! Keep it up! You're awesome Keeli! :)
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Katy

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I bookmarked your blog Keeli! :)
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Keeli

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I hope you find some good ideas or inspiration Katy!
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Jennifer

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I have a younger sponsor child as well and I just write like normal but also at Easter I found this coloring book called the "miracles of the Bible" and I am sending one coloring page at a time and writing about that story to her. Just be creative anything you say will be treasured by them!
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Mariah

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That's a really great idea! I've sent a lot of stickers, bookmarks, postcards, and photographs to him, but I've yet to send him coloring sheets. I think it might be fun to send him two coloring sheets, one that I've colored and one for him to color, and then he can send his coloring sheet back to me and we'll have one each ;D 
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Katy

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That would be very fun! I do that sometimes with my kids, although I haven't recieved many letters yet because I haven't been corresponding with any of them for very long, so I have yet to recieve one back.
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Steve

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I'm no expert.  I struggle with each letter.  I look for inspiration...the Pastor's children's sermon, personal or family stories, my experiences at their ages, comments in the girls letters, activities at their churches and student centers.  There's nothing unique here.  Just love them and prayerfully tackle one letter at a time.
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Mariah

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I would love to write some of my personal life stories to him, but I'm never sure which ones to tell. I should just write them down without overthinking it, I suppose :) Thanks for the advice! 
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Adam

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Hi Mariah! I think these other answers are perfect! Just relax and don't worry too much about it. You can write about your family, your hobbies, your job, your favorite things, what the weather and the geography are like where you live, and the things you have going on in your life. They want to know all about you! If you spend a day working in your flower bed, or at the park, or something like that, you could write about that and spend a picture along with it. Everything that we want to know about them, they also want to know about us.

Little kids really are so smart! I am amazed by the letters I get from my sponsored kids. The boy we sponsor is five and the girl we sponsor is six. I was looking back through my letters to get some ideas of things I've written about and most of my letters are either just telling a little bit about us and what's going on in our lives and trying to be encouraging or a simple Bible story that I read and am thinking about. It gets easier, I think, as you learn more about each other and the letters become more personal. Here are some my first letters to one of my sponsored kids. I don't think there's a right way or a wrong way to write but a lot of my letters are something similar to these.

...

Dear Ana,

How are you? I hope you are well. There's something I forgot to tell you in my last letter. We have a pet bunny named Fluffy Tail. I call her Fluff. She is very funny. When she comes out of her cage she hops around and sometimes she gets startled and jumps high in the air. Sometimes she runs around in circles very fast. She likes to munch on lettuce and hay. Do you have any pets?

This week Brittany and I are keeping the nursery at church. I love to watch the kids at church. We keep the 2 year olds. We read books and color and have snack and learn about Jesus and sing. Do you like to sing?

I pray for you every day. I pray that God will bless you and that He will always keep you safe and I pray that you will grow up and accept Jesus as your Savior. I have a picture of you on my desk at work and we have another picture of you in our home. I am so thankful that God has given me the opportunity to be your sponsor. You are a wonderful blessing. God loves you, Ana. Always remember that.

Your Friend,
Adam

...

Dear Ana,

I'm reading the Book of Genesis this week. Genesis talks about how God created the heavens and the Earth and all the plants and animals and then He created people. God made people special because He created people in His own image. God made people without sin but He also gave them a free will. After Adam and Eve sinned people started to run away from God and try to rely on themselves and do what they wanted instead of listening to God. Even though people turned away from God, He still loved us and He had a plan to save us from sin. By the grace of God we can be made right with Him through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 5).

All the stars and the pretty things in nature that you see around you were created by God. Even though we can't see God we can see His glory displayed through His wonderful creation. Did you know that God created you? God made you very special and He loves you more than you can imagine. You are important and you are precious and you are special because God made you and He loves you very much. God is never far away from you. Even though you can't see God, He is always near and He cares for you.

Love,
Adam
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Keeli

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Love your letters Adam!
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Mariah

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Great letters, Adam, and thanks for the encouragement and advice. Reading these posts have inspired me! Thanks again :) 
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Angelee

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Adam, Thank you that helps me with my 3 year old!  Some times I feel like I'm pulling my eyelashes out trying to come up with something for her!  Really... I'm writing the letters for the parents benefit.  At least that's what I think!
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Elizabeth York

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Thank you for sharing your letters, Adam! You're doing a wonderful job! :)
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Jennifer

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Writing to a young one was new for me too, even though I'm familiar with children the same age.  The great thing is, they have so much yet to learn and experience at that age, almost anything is new and interesting!  I feel like my best letters to him are the ones where I've picked a topic and chatted about it (much like Adam's bunnies -- right on the money!)  Once he mentioned he liked rabbits, so I sent some photos of bunnies and maybe a coloring page...  Another time I was adding a photo of a ferry I'd been on, and realized that cars driving onto boats was a topic in itself!  I even told him about basements, since I'm living in one.  Once you get a simple idea, there's not much to it :)  If you can make a spiritual parallel, even better!
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Mariah

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That's some great advice, Jennifer! I'm a nanny, so I work with kids all the time, so it seems so strange to me when I can't think of things to write to my children in other countries. I guess it all comes down to the culture barrier...I'm just not sure what, in their culture, what I write will mean to them. I know that when their words are translated into English, what they probably meant and what was translated does not always equal the same thing, so I always wonder how much of my English words get changed to mean something different when it translates into their language. 

However, I am sure that Compassion does a wonderful job translating, plus, I think that they also give the letters a read through to be sure nothing will go to the child that could be taken wrong or would not be good for them in their culture. 

When I first sponsored a child, it was through World Vision. My little boy was in a culture that was heavily influenced by the Muslim religion, and World Vision said it was best that I did not mention Jesus or Christianity at all in my letters. I was saddened by the fact that I got to help and connect with my child, but I could not share the reason I got to share with him. That is ultimately the reason I switched over to Compassion, where every child has the opportunity to be loved in the name of Jesus without it being hidden from them. 

While I always mention in my Compassion letters that God loves them, and has great plans for them, I think that I let a little bit of that warning from World Vision get in the way of what I write. 

Thanks, everyone, for the advice. I really needed to confidence to just share my life with my child without overthinking the small stuff. Sure there are things it are not appropriate to talk about, as discussed in the letter-writing guidelines, like "my house is this big" or "I got a new car", etc. So, as long as I keep those in mind, I will be in good shape :)  
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Alisa

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As long as it's not super long or wordy, you're great! The tutor will help the child with it. I usually incorporate whatever I did recently or what's going on in my life, holidays, etc. And I try to remind him how special he is often. All kids love to hear that, but 6 year olds especially love to feel important- I work with them every day! :)
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Mariah

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Awesome advice, Alisa! I just wrote to my little boy about my pet betta fish, Tadashi! I also drew a picture of Tadashi in the corner. And I always tell him how much God loves him, and how much I love him :) 
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Katy

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That sounds like a great topic! I want a pet Betta. They are really neat. Is your Tadashi named after the Big Hero 6 Tadashi or do you just like the name?
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Mariah

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Big Hero 6 :) I was trying to think of some good Japanese for my fish and decided on something that my little neighbor girls (I'm their nanny!) could relate to. They have a lot of fun with it :)