By: Naomi Leak   |   Posted: March 14, 2022

Your Letter Writing Questions Answered

Written by Naomi Leak
A boy writing a letter at a desk

Letter writing is a joyful, difficult, precious and confusing experience. We all want to make a difference in our sponsored children’s lives. But we don’t always know how to connect well on paper.

And so we have questions.

The Compassion Blog has tackled many questions on all types of letter writing topics. So to help you find the direction you need, we’ve compiled a list of those answers to important questions. If you resonate with any of the questions and struggles below, click through to the full article to find a comprehensive answer and helpful guidance.

Do My Letters Really Matter?

Unfortunately, you never get to see your child open a letter. You don’t know if they smile as they read it or if they stash the letter away so they can pore over your words in future dark moments. All you know is that you put some very average-sounding words down and sent them. How will your child react?

Writing can feel difficult and like a stab in the dark. Are you making a difference with your words?

Ten center directors want you to know that you are. See how the seeds you’re planting with letter writing are yielding more of a harvest than you know.

Why Doesn’t My Child Answer My Questions?

We all know how it goes sometimes. You care deeply about your child and want to know more about them. You ask questions about their family, their home, their future dreams.

Radio silence.

The letters you receive back (which sometimes don’t come as often as you’d like) may not show any indication that your child even read your questions. Sure, you hear from us that your letters are making a difference. So, then, why is this happening? Why does it feel harder to engage with your child than you’d hoped?

Kids are kids, and sometimes they struggle to communicate, even when they are moved by letters. Learn how age, relationships and personality can all influence their letters, making them differ from our usual expectations.

Am I the Only One Who Feels Guilty That I Don’t Write Enough?

Am I a bad sponsor because I don’t write my kid often enough? Usually when you have this thought, it keeps you from writing for even longer.

But don’t worry — you’re not alone. Sometimes guilt can eat away at us, paralyzing us with inaction and distracting us from the beauty of what’s happening: A child’s life is being changed. Be comforted that you’re in good company, learn to let go of guilt and find deep gratitude for this amazing experience of being in a child’s life.

How Can I Become a More Consistent Letter Writer?

Letter writing is hard to remember to do. For most of us, it’s not something we do with other people in our lives. How can we practically (and still guilt-free) learn to be just a bit more consistent in encouraging our children?

Sometimes just a few simple ideas can help. So regardless of whether you made a formal resolution to write more or not, use these five tips to become a more regular letter writer this year.

How Do I Write Age-Appropriate Letters?

Girl writing a letter on the floor of a room.

Some people have spent tons of time with children. Others of us don't know what tone of voice is appropriate when talking to a preschooler versus a fifth grader.

Ever feel that way when you’re writing letters? What kinds of messages and questions are meaningful and appropriate for your child at their age?

No matter your sponsored child’s age, this article has helpful suggestions for you. Read now to gain an appreciation for child development at different stages and get concrete letter writing ideas for each one.

Can I Get To Know My Child’s Family?

Some of us with younger children receive letters signed by family members. Others have older children who often mention the people in their lives. We know these family members matter immensely to our child, but we often know little about them.

If you want to learn more about your child’s loved ones and find ways to bless them, this post has you covered. Learn how you can connect with family members through the letters you write to your child.

How Are Letters Delivered?

You work hard to craft letters that are meaningful, age-appropriate and even engaging for your child’s family. But what happens when you send them? It can feel like it takes forever to hear back, so what’s going on?

In the locations where Compassion works, mail systems aren’t always as straightforward as where we live. Letters pass through the hands of many caring staff members who do their best work to ensure that encouraging, safe letters reach the hands of each child. Learn about the whole process and track what happens after you send a letter!