People have often told me how impressed they were to have received a hand-written, personal ‘thank you’ card from my daughter. My child is not just naturally appreciative and this, like most things, takes effort to instill. Here are a few tips to help your child get in this good habit:
1. Set the example.
You cannot tell your kids to send thank you cards when you don’t do it. When you sit down to write a few notes, invite your child to sit with you and maybe ask them to add a small drawing of their own.
2. Let them express themselves.
In the beginning, they can start off with a simple ‘Dear So-and-So’, ‘Thank you for ____’, and ‘From ____’. Encourage stickers and doodles on the card itself and on the envelope. Later, their expressions of gratitude will grow and they will WANT to write more.
3. Choosing stationary.
It makes my daughter excited to write cards when it is a design she chose herself. When it’s a card she likes, I always notice a slight smile as she begins to write and a subtle giddiness to share it with the person she is addressing it to.
4. Do it together.
For the past 6-7 years, we make it a point to sit down together and write out a few cards at a time. I will have my list of people I need to thank (on behalf of myself and the family) and she will have hers. I usually give her some paper to practice what she wants to write and she’ll run it by me to see if it’s okay.
We always try to teach our kids how important it is to SAY ‘thank you’ but teaching them how to SHOW it is a wonderful gift that they can share.