Since it is that time of year, when tacking gratitude and thankfulness is at the top of our parenting list, I wanted to share this post I did from several years back. Enjoy!
I wonder…….do other moms still make their kids write “thank you” notes??? Is this so “old fashion” that I am asking too much? I mean, does anyone ever get real mail in the mailbox anymore?
I have had my kids write thank you notes for gifts since they could write. For a long time they didn’t know the difference – they thought all kids were required to do this simple common courtesy, until one day…….
It was the first Christmas that my husband and I were married and now the new step-momwas in charge of the “motherly” stuff in the home. My step-son had no idea of the “thank you” note policy our family had, so when I just assumed we would all fall under MY guiding, well – it was taken with some resistance. My husband didn’t quite understand my insistence at having all the kids write thank you notes, even to people that were present when the gift was opened. I gave my reasoning and you guessed it……we all write thank you notes!
I feel my kids get a great lesson out of this experience whenever their birthday or another holiday rolls around. It helps them continue to be grateful – they don’t just say a quick, “thank you” when they open the gift and move onto the next. Even if the person giving the gift is present when the “present” is opened, they typically send a note as well. They write a true expression of how they intend to use the gift as well as saying, “thank you”.
I like that my kids have to write an actual card, address it and mail it. This is rather “old fashioned” some of you would think, but I love getting REAL mail! I think when someone receives an actual card in the mail it is impacts them in a different way and can touch someone much deeper than an email or phone call.
So if you are not in the habit of having your kids write “thank you” notes, maybe this year is the first. Think about what you may be teaching your children and what habits they could be developing for when they are no longer living at home. Call me “old fashioned” but I write thank you notes too – yep – remember they are watching you. Live by example, express your gratitude and have fun finding creative ways to say “thank you.”
Tips to Writing Thank You Notes:
1. Set a time: We have now set a deadline, especially with the older kids to complete the task of writing notes, if they have not completed it by the deadline, we take the gift and hold it hostage! I know, we are hammer parents!
2. Help those little ones: Now that I have a smaller one in the house, I will sit and write the majority of the card with their help and they sign their name. It involves them but is not overwhelming.
3. Help kids be specific: Have your kids specific details about what they like about the gift they received or perhaps how they will use it or look forward to using it.
4. The Details: Help them see how to address the envelope, place the return address and stick postage on the card. These are life skills that they all need to learn!
Our children are watching us live, and what we are shouts louder than anything we can say. – Wilfred A. Peterson