Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Parenting tips: Writing Thank you Notes

While I was roaming aimlessly around the bookstore, I picked up a book that had a few really great tips on teaching kids the value of writing Thank you notes. I never intended on reading a whole chapter right there in the store but with one good piece of advice after the other I quickly tried to take it all in. The book was "The Art of Thank You: Crafting notes of Gratitude" by Connie Leas. The chapter I read was "How to get your children to write thank you notes".

*These fill in the blank cards straight out of my card stash are from Knock Knock Biz*

My son is only 3 1/2 years old but I thought I'd try a few of the suggestions she wrote about.  

{One} Talk about writing a thank you note before a gift or event has been given. To prepare Little Man, we started talking about it about a week before his party: who might come to the party and what shaped presents he might get. {Two} Connie's advice was to go shopping ahead of the party, having your child pick out cards or stationary, stickers and even a new pen for the job. I had my son help me pick out a few cards from my card stash to use. We also found some stickers and colored markers to "write" his thanks to his grandparents for his birthday gifts. {Three} Make a special time and quite area to write your thank yous. (She even suggests letting an older child skip a chore in exchange for time to write a note or two). I offered to help him pick up his toys if he wanted to work on Thank yous together, but once he'd written a few he was done so we put the rest away to finish another day. {Four} Better than sending nothing, use fill in the blanks. I used fill in the blank cards for Christmas last year for Little Man's thank yous. I've also used them myself when I want to send a card but haven't got a lot of time and the right words to say.

There was one more piece of advice that might seem controversial to some parents: Withhold a gift until the thank you has been written.  I could see how that might frustrate a child but possibly make them more motivated to write a note so they could play with said present.

NOW my gift to you... Help me change the world one "thank you" at a time. For anyone wanting an easy way to start: Click here to download a Free Fill in the Blank Thank You Postcard {for personal use only} designed by me. Print it out, fill it in and you're ready to send someone special a little thank you to brighten their day. You might be surprised how meaningful those two little words can be.

How does a  thank you card, or even a nicely hand written note make you feel?

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