What is it like to sponsor a toddler?

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For staff and experienced sponsors who sponsor young children before, I am wondering what is it like to sponsor a toddler? Say, 1 or 2 years old? What do you write in your letters to them? I ask this because they probably don't know what's going on and have no concept of letters itself. Are you writing to the child or their parents?

I am sponsoring a 6 years old and a 5 years old, and I think at that age, they understand they are sponsored and about receiving letters. I am also sponsoring with another organization, and they allow sending small toys to the child. In their case, I can send my younger sponsored child something physical that I think is easier to understand, to make him happy and to show my love to him.

I am curious how Compassion sponsors of young children send their loves. Also, does sponsoring a child from that young age make any difference to them than sponsoring a child a bit older?

Thanks :)
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Adri Matsui

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Posted 2 years ago

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Rebekah Bell

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Hi Adri! 
I am a correspondent to a toddler (3 years old) in the Phillipines. When I was first assigned to him, I was a little nervous for the reasons you mentioned. I had no idea how to write to a kid who I didn't think would be able to understand about sponsors, letters, etc...But I have come to love it!
Truthfully, you are writing more to the parent than the child (at least in my case). I have received the loveliest, longest, most heartfelt letters from my little boy's mother. I have enjoyed correspondence with her so much. Each of my kids are special, but I feel extra connected to this child and his life because I am in such great contact with his mom.
Of course, I don't just speak to his mom in the letters because after all, I am still sponsoring the child himself. I know that he probably doesn't understand most of my letters, so I usually write really short, simple and sweet messages. Just saying "I love you," "you are special"....messages that the child can understand easily when they are read to him even if he doesn't understand yet who it is coming from. 
I also make sure to send lots of coloring pages, photos, and cards to my toddler since kids are so visual at that age. He may not be able to understand my words or what a sponsor is, but he can enjoy coloring and looking at pictures! Pop up cards and musical cards are extra special.
I have found writing to a toddler very different from sponsoring an older child but I love it soooo much! I really feel like part of his whole family in a way that I don't with my other kids. 
I hope this helps some.
God bless you for your heart for children!
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EMG

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I have to agree with Rebekah! I started out sponsoring a young toddler and the relationship is different compared to the older children I have sponsored. When I first received letters, they were from my sponsor child's mother. The letters were often 4-5 pages long, and some of the most precious letters I have received! Now that my sponsor child is older, I get to write to both my child and her mother--I get double the letters and double the details. Her mother still writes detailed letters and those are sent with my sponsor child's template letters.
(Edited)
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Beth

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That is amazing! Thanks for sharing your experiences Rebekah and EMG. I had no idea you would get such amazing letters from the mother when writing a younger child.

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