My older daughter – big Z is now starting to read. Bigger words, sentences and even enjoys talking in spellings and like all moms would be, I’m elated that she has reached this milestone. But for me the reason is very different and nothing to do with academics.

I generally am a very patient person and it takes something really very big for me to lose my calm – at least outward. But with kids I sometimes find myself losing my patience easier and faster. There are times where I’ve raised my voice, punished them, stopped talking to them for a while. What follows is a feeling of guilt and thinking and overthinking about my reaction. Sometimes our spur of the moment reactions with kids is something that we would not repeat with any adult. This makes me wonder on how important it is to be an empathetic parent and I’ll leave the details about this in another post.

While it is important to teach them, correct them and at times be strict, these are not the only memories I want them to have of their younger days and so I try to think of small different ways that I can bring a smile to their faces and hope to that they have some lasting happy memories of time spent with us.

The kids take a snack box to school daily and generally they know a day earlier itself on what is going to be their snack for the next day. So, what I do is, sometimes just include a small surprise for them or something totally different from what we had planned. Whenever I do this, the first thing that I get when they come home is a big hug and a super smile.

This is where her being able to read finally helped me start something that I had been waiting for since a very long time. What I have now started for big Z is including a small handwritten note in her tiffin box maybe a couple times a week – on days she has done something special or on days she is worried about something or even just like that. Small notes like “you make me smile” or “I love the twinkle in your eyes” or “I know you can do it – go for it”.

Believe it or not, the results of this simple 2 minutes of personalization of their tiffin time is the most amazing. The first note that I had put in her box was “Z – mommy misses you while you are at school” and the first thing I got when she came back from school was a big tight hug and “I miss you too” accompanied by a super smile. In fact, she was so excited looking at the note at school that showed it to all her friends too.

I started writing these notes on simple post-its but then thought of adding some colour and fun to the activity and so created some pintables for the same. There are blank templates as well as some examples of small notes too. Personally, I prefer handwriting the notes and thus use the blank ones more often.

Here is the PDF of the tiffinnotes printables.  Please feel free to download and use them as you wish. We would love to hear back from you on facebook or Instagram with the #tiffinnotes. And why only limit these notes to your lil ones, you can send it out to your spouse/partner as well. You never know what treat awaits you 🙂

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About Author

I am a stay at home mom, having worked in the software technology services space for over 10 years. In my professional life I used to enforce quality standards like CMMi & Six Sigma to make developers and testers jobs easier & process oriented.In my current stint I am using similar techniques coupled with age old wisdom from my mom and grand mom to make our living healthier and medicine free. To start any new stint it helps if you read and train and so I got myself a diploma in Naturopathy from Mumbai.


  1. This is so thoughtful and such a great resource. It is so exciting when the kids start to read. Ive got twin nephews and they are speaking sentences which are coherent x

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