I want to raise kids who are grateful, and a tangible product of this is writing and sending thank-you notes. Any parent who has pressed this issue can probably identify with the groan that occurs when writing a thank-you note is mentioned. Making this process as easy as possible for kids is the best solution.
Traditionally, the structure of a thank-you note is a friendly letter. Because of its informality, the heading is left off. The other parts remain:
The good news is that 3/4 of those parts come easily! The challenging part is creating a thank-you note body that doesn’t sound automatic, but is. The body can be broken into three questions to be answered in two to five sentences, depending on the child’s age and ability:
1. What was the gift?
2. What do you like about it?
3. How will you use it?
Let’s take a look at an example. My seven-year-old received a $25 gift card to the LEGO store. Here is the “automatic” thank-you note that could be written:
Thank you for the LEGO gift card. I love playing with LEGOs and can’t wait to buy the new Star Wars set with the card.
Don’t be limited by tradition when it comes to thank-you notes. If your child prefers to draw, have her incorporate the three parts of the letter’s body into an art creation that can be sent instead. One year, we did all our thank-you notes with photos. It took a little longer for me, but the relatives ended up with fun thank-you notes, and I had a lot of pictures that my kids willingly posed for!
Schedule a little time into this holiday season to make thank-you notes an event. Choose a time and make it a special tradition by adding favorite treats or silly music in the background. The bonus is that you can sit down and write your thank-you notes at the same time!
Do you usually have your kids write thank-you notes?