The highest mission of the Wordweavers Writers Groups, which I established in 1993, is to encourage fledgling writers in their writing endeavors. A well-timed word of encouragement can make all the difference to someone overcoming shyness in sharing writing, regardless of age. I believe this same mission can and should be the aim of every parent. No one knows your children like you do, so who could be better than you at seizing those opportunities to build them up? Children of any age (even us 'teenagers' trapped in 30-something bodies!) are spurred on by encouraging words, particularly in the area of creativity. Nothing works better for removing defenses, calming fears, and tapping into unlimited potential. If you don't believe it, try it right now. Encourage, and watch your child blossom before your eyes.

Of all the gifts we can give our children, love is the greatest by far. Words help us to communicate that love, equipping our children to communicate their thoughts, beliefs, experiences, and feelings throughout their lives. So go ahead and splurge. Give the gift that will multiply itself throughout your child's life. Just don't be surprised if one day you walk up to your bathroom mirror and find a note that says, "Hey, thanks for the words. They fit perfectly."

Lisa Luke Easterling is a freelance writer, editor, and photographer in Florida.  Mom to five and "Mimi" to one, she has homeschooled for 16 years.  An instructor with the Wordweavers and Heartwords writers groups, Lisa writes and edits articles, fiction, personal essays, ad copy,  site content, columns, and commissioned verse and prose on a wide variety of topics including homeschooling, marriage, women's interests, and more.  www.lisaeasterling.com