Finding ways to be there for your kids is a constantly-evolving challenge. As kids grow up, they may start communicating with you less and their friends more. Even finding time throughout the day to sit down and talk becomes more difficult as kids’ schedules fill up with extracurriculars and plans of their own, making an already challenging aspect of parenting even harder. One dad named Chris Yandle found a unique way to share life lessons, advice, and love with his daughter during a time when her brain was already primed for learning – he did it through notes, small nuggets of wisdom that he slipped into her lunch box when she went off to school every day.
Dr. Yandle wanted to support his daughter through an especially difficult year, as Addison’s transition to fourth grade meant she’d attended four different schools in five years.
“It wasn’t how we planned it, but as someone who moved around a lot as a kid, I knew this school year was going to be tough,” Dr. Yandle explained on his website. “Every morning, I wrote my daughter a note about life, school, or growing up, and I’d slip it in her bookbag or her lunch box to find later in the day.”
For over three years, Dr. Yandle has been sending his daughter to school with his “#DadLunchNotes,” a hashtag he coined when he started sharing his notes on social media. Though the notes are written for his daughter, the wisdom this loving dad shares is universal.
“These words of encouragement and life lessons are my way of connecting with my daughter and offering her the advice and anecdotes I wish I received at her age,” Dr. Chris Yandle told The Dad.
Inspiring and motivating kids to be the best versions of themselves is something all parents hope to accomplish, but finding the right method is difficult. Fortunately for Dr. Yandle, his extremely efficient method of delivering words of wisdom has become something Addison (and her teachers) look forward to every day.
“With each passing day, parenting in the digital age is getting more and more difficult,” Dr. Yandle explained. “As a dad to a pre-teen junior high girl, I thought you and other dads might be interested in a non-digital way to connect with their kids in our heavily connected world.”
The desire to share his unique method of communication led Dr. Yandle to post his Dad Lunch Notes on social media, and recently, he even compiled them into a book called Lucky Enough.
A parent friend told me: “I’d love it if you could mass produce #DadLunchNotes, as to have others (like myself in the morning – running like a chicken without a head) throw them in the lunch box every morning. Please say yes.”
— Chris Yandle, Ph.D. 😷 (@ChrisYandle) November 16, 2020
“One of the notes I wrote to Addison during her fourth-grade year was a quote from Taylor Swift: ‘If you’re lucky enough to have something that makes you different from everybody else, don’t ever change.’ When I read that quote, I knew I found the right title,” Dr. Yandle explained on his website.
For years to come, Addison will be Lucky Enough to have a stockpile of dad wisdom when she needs it most. And undoubtedly, this unique method of building a dad-daughter connection will be treasured by both forever.
I wrote this November 18, 2019.
It’s amazing how much I still feel the same even when I get small victories.
I’m still scratching and clawing to share what I do.
— Chris Yandle, Ph.D. 😷 (@ChrisYandle) November 18, 2020