An imperfect letter Illustration

An imperfect letter to children

An imperfect letter

This letter from us to every child is to take you seriously. Each as you are. Wherever you are. Whatever is going on.

We will never fully know or be able to describe in perfect words the creative and resourceful ways children live and be in response to opportunity and loss. In response to adversity, calm, chaos, connection, disconnection, kindness, violence, and more.

If you are a child

If you are a child who has found this letter on your own, we hope it is useful to you in some way.

We hope you feel like you aren’t alone. We hope that you see the spirit of all you have been treasuring, doing, and holding on to.

If you are an adult

If you are an adult reading or sharing this letter

  • We invite you to let the letter travel unchanged.
  • We invite you to refrain from explaining it.
  • We invite you to follow children’s lead in what some or all of it may mean to them.

The imperfect letter may speak quietly to a child.

And the letter may create a way to talk together.

About the authors

We are six adults living on unceded first nations lands in four countries. We have lived different childhoods, and we face different futures, yet we hold a shared value and wish for children. A wish that each child, in any place, of any age, ability, culture or situation, be valued by society, services and systems. Valued for who they are and for what is important to them.

Australia | Aotearoa New Zealand | Canada | Mexico 


To the children (friends, siblings, cousins) around us in our own childhoods who were safe to talk to or be silent with - we thank you.

To the adults around us (early or late, formal or informal) who took us seriously – we thank you.

Sharing the imperfect letter

This letter has no limits to where it can travel and be seen. It can be shared in any format or style.

We invite you to creatively share it or respond to it. It must always be free (no cost/fee).

Use the master files provided to plan the ways you can share this letter with children. 

Use the PDF (black text on white background)

Use the PNG files with your chosen format (black text on translucent background)

 Side A and Side B

Ideas for sharing 'An imperfect letter'

Insight Exchange shared 'An imperfect letter' rolled up in a black cardboard cylinder at a Creating Conversations session involving adults working across a range of sectors and industries. These are some of the early ideas emerging from first responses:

  • painted on the concrete wall of a children's playground/skate park
  • on tables in waiting rooms of services where children come along with parent/s
  • residential houses (residential spaces where families can stay while children receive hospital/medical treatment)
  • in care packs given to parents in hospital to take home after birthing
  • projected on wall of a cubbyhouse structure inside public institutions where there are child-specific areas (eg: museum, library)

The possibilities for sharing the letter are endless and can evolve... most importantly in ways that directly reveal the letter to children.

Do you have an idea for how you are planning to share the letter to children? Share your ideas here via [[email protected]

Examples: Using an envelope or a cylinder

Translate »