In the spirit of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, Letters to a Parent is a collection of letters by parents for parents concerning the philosophy and practice of raising kids.

It started when I found a talk given by my great-grandmother Elsie, the mother of nine daughters. “Especially ease up on the oldest one,” she said. “My, we expect a lot of the first one. ” Reading her words inspired me as much as any of the parenting handbooks I had read or research I had done. As my children have grown (they’re now 14, 12, and 9) I’ve continued to seek the wisdom of other parents I respect.

Since I couldn’t assemble all of the great parents I’ve known in one room, I started asking “what have you learned? how did you do it? what do you believe about parenting?” via e-mail and letters. This blog arose from the answers to those questions concerning parenting in all its ages and stages. We parents have a lot of wisdom to share with each other. Although there are specific pieces of advice included, the collection is intended to address the philosophies and approaches to parenting from a big picture view–sometimes from the thick of it and sometimes in hindsight. (In addition to Rilke’s work, this is also inspired by the This I Believe project…a kind of “this I believe” for parenting.)

And who am I? I am a parent of three children, a writer & doctoral student in Child Development in Boston. If you’d like to submit a letter or nominate someone you’d like me to invite to write for Letters to a Parent (or if you’d just like to say hi), I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at annie.waddoups@gmail.com.

Anne Waddoups


2 responses to “About

  1. I la la LOVE this idea. I am going to do one. I need to mull it over first. That letter from your grandmother was priceless. What simple words of wisdom. Excellent idea, as always, my wise friend.

  2. As a mother of seven the most important advice that I can give is to instill in each of your children the knowledge that they can do “anything.” We were successful with some of our children, and didn’t do so well with others.
    You have to beware of criticism, always follow or precede it with praise. It is easy to bruise their self evaluation. Let them fail, and then help them learn from their failures. Don’t blame!
    If I could have a do-over it would be to tell them all, everyday, how smart and capable they are.

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