2014 is a year we at Dreifa and our extended Dreifa family, those dads and moms who signed on to the MILLION NOTES FROM DAD and MILLION NOTES FROM MOM initiatives in 2014, will always remember: The first group of dads began writing their children on Father’s Dad 2014. Now, they have been writing their children 7 months, and the results are just beginning to come in. As one dad said, I’m closer to my son than I have every been.

Let’s back up. In 2006 Facebook and Twitter really took hold in our culture. Kids, specifically, were drawn into it -so much so that now, 8 years later, the most common complaint regarding millennials and kids is their inability to communicate effectively or have long term relationships. In response, employers are now including required writing samples as part of the application process, before an interview is requested. It is clear from just this that teaching our children how to communicate effectively and create healthy relationships is more important than ever. Through your participation in the MILLION NOTES FROM DAD and MILLION NOTES FROM MOM initiatives, you are providing a wonderfully safe space for your children to acquire these skills. It’s leading by example, it’s the golden rule in action.

We do well to remember that our children never outgrow their need of us. The nature of the need changes as they develop, but the need remains constant. Think of it this way, the need our children have for us is like a cup, and cups are the container for a lot of different things, but the cup does not change. Our children’s need for us is like that cup, only the content changes based on where they are in their lives. We also do well to remember that ongoing contact with our children preempts long gaps of unshared experience, often a precursor to flimsy relationships and feelings of distance. Note writing is one of the most powerful ways of staying relevant in our children’s lives. We continue to be an ongoing source of wisdom, insight and vision –their need for these never goes out of style and we and they always need more.

Note writing to your children via the MILLION NOTES FROM DAD and MILLION NOTES FROM MOM initiatives has begun generating shared experiences. It is with this in mind that I want to underscore the value of standing shoulder to shoulder with other Dads and Moms as you sign on to the MILLION NOTES FROM DAD and MILLION NOTES FROM MOM initiatives instead of going it alone.

There is power in numbers. Our goal is that every Dad and every Mom will be present: Standing shoulder to shoulder with all other Dads and Moms, we are collectively creating a hedge of protection for our children. One Dad and one Mom alone cannot do this. Dads and Moms need other Moms and Dads who, together, we lengthen the hedge and broaden the border of protection against low standards, wasted lives, poor performance, distance, and weak character. We can give them a vision and help them fill in the content. We lead by example. There is power in numbers.

Children need a reason and permission to unplug – you Dad, you Mom provide that permission every time you write to your children. Receiving your note is the signal to unplug, it provides respite from the tyranny of social media and video games. Your notes can stir their heart as you share your vision for their lives with them. As they read your note, they are restoring your influence back into their lives -you cease to be irrelevant.

The hand written legacy you are giving your children transcends time, and can only be given by you. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Dads and Moms throughout the country is a mighty witness to your children that you will go the distance for them; that, while you may not always be able to do what they would like, you will always do your best for them; that while you may not always agree with their course of action, you will do your best to understand; that by confessing your wrong when done to them and asking forgiveness, you are showing that confession does not diminish but builds up and restores. You are earning the influence they are willing for you to have in their lives. Write on…