If there's anything our children seem to be missing out on these days, it's the benefits of writing letters to friends and family. In today's world of text messaging and social media, human relationships are becoming less personal, as we are updated on each other's lives via an online status rather than a handwritten letter or phone call.

Make a change this year and teach your children the value of sending handwritten thank you notes to grandparents, aunts, and uncles for the holiday presents your children received. Take it a step further, by finding your child a pen pal to write to from across town or the other side of the world. Either way, everyone will benefit.

Handwriting Skills

Your child's handwriting skills will only improve with the amount of practice she'll be getting writing all of those holiday and birthday thank you notes, along with her pen-pal letters. While schools may not be as focused on handwriting these days, it's still nice to have neat, legible handwriting as an adult.

Writing Skills

Everyone has to write letters in life, from job application cover letters to college admittance forms. Writing letters now will help your child improve her grammar and better express herself through the written word, which will be essential as she grows and begins writing essays and term papers in the upper grades and college.

Stronger Self-Esteem

While your child's handwriting and writing skills increase, so will her self-esteem. She'll take pride in not only how good her letters and words look on paper, but how well her grammar is improving too. Her stronger self-esteem may even inspire a budding poet or novelist.

Closer Relationships

Talk about being Grandma's favorite! Your child will develop a special bond when writing letters to a grandparent or other family member or friend on a regular basis. Handwritten letters tend to show a deeper level of interest than emails or quick phone calls. Letters can be saved as mementos, whereas words spoken in phone calls (although definitely important) are often forgotten.

Insight Into Others' Lives

Letters to Grandma or to a pen pal can help teach your child about how other people live. Life was much different when Grandma was growing up. She can tell your child all about it through handwritten exchanges.

Likewise, being in contact with a friend who lives far away can teach your child about different cultures and what life is like in Australia or Japan or even the country versus the city. It will help open your child's eyes to the diversity of the world so she can witness and understand how our differences can unite us instead of divide us.

Excitement of Receiving Mail

Everyone loves to get mail, especially a nice note addressed just to them. Your child will light up every time she receives a letter or card in the mailbox and you will be just as excited as they are as you watch them enjoy a rare gift in today's technological age.

Your child may surprise you with how much she enjoys letter writing, even if she protests at first. Motivate and inspire your child to write by presenting her with colorful stationary and special pens to use. She'll truly enjoy having her own unique paper, which will make her feel grown-up and important.