They aren’t the easiest things to write, but they make a world of difference to those who receive them. And they can make the sender feel pretty darn good, too.
We’re talking about thank-you notes.
Whether it’s for Christmas presents, birthday gifts or to the neighbor who invited your child to join their family to see Sesame Street Live! at the Times Union Center in Albany, thank-you notes just make the heart feel good.
And writing thank-you notes is a great life skill for kids to learn at an early age. There are many occasions when adults need to write notes of thanks; developing the habit as a child make it second nature as the kids grow older.
From realsimple.com, here are five tips for writing those notes with your kids:
Set a time for it. There’s something wrong about trying to teach gratitude by nagging or rushing a kid. Get some snacks and settle in for the activity.
Gather your resources. A correspondence kit is a fun motivator. Put one together with note cards, a return-address stamper, a cool pen, postage stamps, stickers, a first address book, and even a monogram seal.
Be the designated writer. Children who can’t write yet, or who are just learning, will feel more grateful if they don’t have to agonize over sentences. Also, transcribing their thanks gives you a chance to capture the depth and complexity of their feelings. (“Thank you for the game Candy Land, which has Queen Frostine, which is who I love so much even though it’s who Ben loves, too, and so we fight sometimes.”)
Teach sincerity. You want your kids to be authentically gracious. Aunt Ida’s terrifying woolen anorak? Skip “Thank you for the beautiful sweater — I love it!” and talk your child through what’s true. “Dear Aunt Ida, it must have taken you so long to crochet this. The wool feels really warm, and you remembered my favorite color is green! Thank you so much.”
Do it now — and later. Every now and then, encourage your child to send another note, long after the fact, just to make somebody’s day — especially for a gift that has turned out to be a favorite. “Remember that moose hat you gave me last Christmas? Here’s a picture of me wearing it on our trip to Niagara Falls!”
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