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 June 3, 2012

Lunch Note

Update your hug from home

What it is

 

A strip of paper approximately 3”x 8” folded in half.  On the paper is a funny image or joke copied from the Internet—actual written “note” is optional.

Why it's  Important

Everyone needs a mid-day pick-me-up, especially kids at school. School can be rough and the lunch table even rougher sometimes.  A funny note is a great way for your child to reset a positive outlook or to help her to redirect a conversation that’s not going well.  Think parachute.

The Problem

Many parents slip notes into lunch boxes, that’s wonderful. Often, though, the tradition doesn’t get an update as the child grows.  Those sweetsy-cutesy notes that once felt like a hug from home can turn into a source of embarrassment unless your messages evolve and mature along with your child. If the note is embarrassing, it won’t be opened or appreciated.

 The Tip

Funny Pictures!

The Internet is filled with funny images. As your child grows, start to replace your handwriting with pictures. You’ll be replacing your obvious “fingerprint” with one more subtle. The mid-day message of love and support continues to be powerful and you’ve given your child—and his friends—something to look forward to. A funny lunch note ALWAYS gets opened.

Step 1:  Search the Web Keyword searches that match your child’s current interests will deliver hundreds of options.  I’ve created a Lunch Note Board on Pintrest with a few funny things I’ve used. I’ll keep posting the images I use for my kids on that board so you’ll have a go-to place for fresh inspiration if you’re ever stuck 
              Oh and another thing . . .  Sometimes a funny, but slightly questionable, image is great to reassure your kids that you see them as growing adults. 
Step 2:  Save or Copy   

When you find a great image, right mouse click on the image to bring up the options menu.  You can either copy/paste the image to a Word or Pages document or save it to a folder.

              Oh and another thing . . . 

Recommend that you save the image to a folder that way when in a hurry, you can create a “Best Of” note fast.

Step 3:   Week's Worth  

Copy all the images for a week’s worth of lunches onto 1 page.   Print the sheet and cut-out each note. You’ll not only save paper (Yay!) you’ll also have all your notes done in advance (Yay!)

   

Step 4:   Feedback 

After school, ask your child if the note was a hit at the lunch table.  You’ll hone in on the right kinds of images to offer (keeping pace with your child) and you’ll start a conversation about school that will surely get you farther than the lame, “How was your day?”

     Benefits!

Connection

As you hone your notes, you’re deepening connection. 

Trust

A funny note is something to be proud of and gets shared.  Psst: that means you’re becoming someone who is safe to present to friends.

Ripples

Your child’s close friends will begin to develop a relationship with you through your lunch notes.  I’ve had my son’s friends send me funny images to use for note. Yes, my kids’ friends are contributors!  Bingo!

Conversation You'll be surprised by the information flood when an after school conversation starts with a question about the lunch note.
 Influence Anything that deepens connection and trust amplifies influence. 

 

              Oh and another thing . . . 

Slip in an occasional—and I mean OCCASIONAL—thought provoking image.  Anything even remotely serious needs a funny caption.  Sure it’s backfired on me once or twice, but because it’s rare—RARE—my social capital has been more than enough to keep everything cool.

Related Articles:  A Laugh a Day, Consistency in Boundaries, What Does The Tooth Fairy Bring?, 

Related Tip of the Week:  Peer Pressure,

 Follow Lorraine's board Lunch Notes on Pinterest.

Peacemaker Coach Tip of the Week - Lunch Notes 

 

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   Peacemaker Coach Tip of the Week - Lunch Notes

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