The Letter to My 10-year-old Daughter That Changed Our Relationship

The Letter to My 10-year-old Daughter That Changed Our Relationship
07 Aug 2015

A few months ago, I was at my wits’ end with my daughter who just happens to be a smidgen more stubborn than I am. We butt heads often because we’re so much alike. But I also understand that it has a great deal to do with the environment that our children are growing up in, which is so much different than the one many of us were raised in by our own parents. Disrespect? What was that? Talking back? Oooo, you knew you weren’t sitting for a few days.

But these days, we have to find ways to balance good parenting with competing influences from the rest of the world—not to mention our own children’s personalities. I have had to come up with creative ways of disciplining my daughter (i.e. making her squat 50 times while picking up and dropping her clothes back on the floor to get her to stop throwing her cloths on the floor. Unh-uh, I pay too much money for those clothes!). I’ve also had to find ways to remind her that I want our relationship to be more than just about ongoing lectures and consequences for bad behavior.

One week was particularly bad and I got to a point where I was just tired. And I know she was too. It felt like every five minutes, I was lecturing her about something she did or didn’t do. And then I had to stop and take a breath. I remembered that she is about to enter some of her most formative years and I didn’t want this constant lecturing and disciplining to be all she knew me for. I didn’t want to it block the flow of our communication down the road. And so I did what I knew to be really important. I wrote her a letter about everything I thought was brilliant about her…

Dear Nantaba,

I am writing this to let you know that despite how it may sometimes seem, there are many things that are wonderful about you. I am blessed to have you as my daughter and am in awe as I watch you grow into a young lady. So even when I get frustrated and angry with you, it doesn’t change the fact that I love you with all my heart. I hope things begin to improve so that there are fewer reasons for me to be frustrated, but in the meantime, I want you to know what I think is really wonderful about you. Hold on to this letter and read it anytime you feel sad, angry or like you can’t do anything right. We all sometimes feel like that, but it’s usually up to us to do something about it.

What I think is wonderful about YOU:

1. Your joyful laugh.

2. Your determination to teach yourself new things.

3. Your thirst for knowledge and your ability to retain it.

4. Your fearlessness.

5. Your creativity.

6. Your (corny) sense of humor.

7. The way you take care of your siblings.

8. Your commitment to doing well in school.

9. Your hospitality.

10. Your smile that lights up your face.

11. Your gift for art and culture.

12. Your singing (sometimes J)

13. Your ability to remind me to have fun.

14. The way you can make friends and carry on a conversation with anyone.

15. Your cooking (errr…sometimes).

16. Your silliness.

17. Your writing (stories).

18. Your handwriting (when it’s neat).

19. The way you teach me how to use my phone.

20. Your ability to make and sell whatever you put your mind to.

21. How you tell me about your day and your friends.

22. Your LOVE.

 I pray everyday that God continues to protect you and guide you as you become older and more independent. Always put Him first, and you will succeed in all you do.



There’s something to be said for positive reinforcement. Ever since I gave her this letter, I’ve noticed greater effort from her part to do her part and become less disobedient. Things are not perfect, nor will they ever be—but, I can definitely say that this letter has improved our relationship for the better. In fact, when I asked her her permission to use this letter in my blog post, she told me that she carries it in her backpack every day. I had no idea. Don’t ever take for-granted how much your children need to hear your praise and make sure you find something positive to recognize them for on a regular basis. It will change your relationship.

How do you keep the flow of communication open with your children?

This post originally appeared on Black and Married With Kids.

Julian B. Kiganda

I hope you enjoyed this post! A little about me: I’m the founder of Bold & Fearless and a Transformational Brand Strategist. My gifting is in helping purpose-driven women transform and build million-dollar brands. I’m also an author, transformational speaker and multi-passionate entrepreneur. In 2014, I published my first highly-acclaimed book co-authored with my sister: Whose Shoes Are You Wearing? 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be available on Barnes & Noble and Amazon. To learn more about how you can connect or work with me, visit


  1. See what these people had to say when writing a letter to their 10 year old self. If you could write a letter to your 10 year old self, what would you say?

    • Julian B. Kiganda Says: September 2, 2015 at 3:46 am

      I would definitely write, “Listen to your parents, they know what they’re talking about!” LOL. I would also write that you’re going to have great things and not so great things happen in your life. The key to being successful in anything is to learn to be happy despite what happens.

  2. This is SO beautiful, and the intentionality of it…just warmed my heart. I’m going to write a letter like this to my siblings!

    • Julian B. Kiganda Says: August 9, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      Thank you so much Simone! I think letters are a GREAT way let the people you care about know just how much you care. They are words that will last beyond a conversation because they can keep it!

  3. My oldest and I share a journal. I use it to send positive message and he can write about anything he like or ask any question. I’m going to start something similar with the second one. Great idea!

Leave a Reply to Heather Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *