How to Write a Letter to Tell Your Son You Are Proud of Him

Books in bookcase.jpg

Letter writing has become a lost art in recent years. Few people take time to compose a structured letter in an age where quick thoughts can be instantly transmitted by e-mail and text messages. However, a letter can be the most appropriate way to describe a profound feeling like pride in a son’s accomplishments. Knowing some basic ideas to include in such a letter will help you compose a complete and sincere expression of pride and encouragement.

1 Begin with a header and greeting

Begin with a header and greeting, two features of a personal letter. The heading typically consists of your address and the date, which appear in the upper right of the page. The greeting, which appears on the right side of the page a couple of lines under the header, can be as simple as “Dear son,” or “Dear Alex.”

2 Explain why you are writing

Explain why you are writing. Since your son might not be anticipating this letter, preface your sentiments with a description of what motivated you to write. You could include a statement like, “I’m writing you to tell you something that I don’t often say in person,” or “I wanted to take an opportunity to tell you this in writing.”

3 Describe the behaviors and qualities

Describe the behaviors and qualities that you see in your son. If applicable, discuss what changes you have witnessed in your son’s character over the years, and compare his current life with his childhood. You are in a privileged position, having known him throughout life, to give insight into his evolution as a person.

Express your personal feelings about your son. This section will vary dramatically according to the kind of relationship you and your son share. Some fathers might find the phrase “I am proud of you,” to be too direct and not in keeping with the nature of their relationship. Some might prefer to express pride by saying, “I admire the way you have grown” or “You have lived up to and exceeded my expectations.”

Describe your vision of your son’s future. Using phrases like “I can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish next” or “I have high hopes for you” are good ways to demonstrate the optimism that his achievements have inspired in you.

Offer encouragement and advice. Encouraging words will motivate your son to keep pushing himself through difficult situations. The best part about having these words in writing is that your son will be able to look back at this letter at a moment when he is feeling discouraged or ashamed. Your well-intentioned words can become a positive force in the future.

Conclude your letter with a closing of your choice. The typical closing for a friendly letter is "Sincerely" or "Sincerely yours," but you might find "Love" to be more appropriate depending on your relationship. Sign the letter below the closing, using either your full name or the name by which your son refers to you.

Drew Lichtenstein started writing in 2008. His articles have appeared in the collegiate newspaper "The Red and Black." He holds a Master of Arts in comparative literature from the University of Georgia.