It's hard to believe that your child is old enough for his or her Bar or Bat Mitzvah.  Be sure to set aside time during your celebration to toast your child and let them know how proud you are of their accomplishment.  As one parent says, "We have the Bat/Bar Mitzvah as a time to share our love for our child with words from our heart. What other time in a parents life can we stand up in front of a large group of people and do that?"  Here are some things to remember when writing your toast:
  1. Focus on your child and their accomplishments, both of that day and in life.
  2. Don't forget to thank the rest of your family and add a special thanks to out of town guests.
  3. Add a little humor - there's no reason it can't be funny.  Just don't embarrass your child.
  4. Keep it short - 5 to 7 minutes tops
  5. Practice, practice, practice - you don't want to read this for the first time in front of a huge group of people.
Here is one wonderful example that a parent shared with us:
It would be nice to take credit for a fantastic daughter like you. But I have to admit that your ability to accomplish what you set out to do and bring happiness to others are gifts you were born with. From day one you captured my heart, and my love for you just keeps on growing.

When you were small, it was such a joy to watch you discovering life. I sometimes wished the years would slow down so I could enjoy those precious times a little longer. But the years have continued to rush by. You have amazed us with your academic abilities, your leadership qualities, your gift of writing, and your musical talents. You have always exuded confidence and dared to be different if you felt it was the moral and correct thing to do. Because of your abilities and capabilities, you have continued to bring new pleasures and new reasons to be proud of you.
 
Elizabeth, you are my first born, and we are blessed to have you as our daughter. It is now time to wish you all the happiness that your sweet heart so richly deserves... time to thank you for filling the years with so many treasures for our hearts. You have always been mature and wise beyond your years... but you will always be our little girl. We love you.