Teaching Children to be Grateful
One of the most important things that we can teach our kids is to express gratitude. We have a great opportunity to do this after the holiday season. As soon as kids can write, they can write a thank you note. There are even some great “fill in the blank” notes that you can buy for your kids to help get them in this very good habit.
Start by sitting with your child and making a list of all the gifts he or she received, as well as the people who gave the gifts. Then start at the top and talk about the gift, how much they like it, how they've enjoyed it. Help your child think of what to say in the note, and sit next to him as he writes it. You might be writing your own thank you notes at the same time, setting a good example! Continue down the list, checking off names, until you’re all done. Then get out your address book and help your child address the envelopes, put on stamps, and a return address. There’s nothing as warm and personal as a hand-written thank you note. Kids may want to e-mail, but encourage them to write out their gratitude for gifts on real paper. In the business world, a thank you note in a true sign of professionalism.
Here are some tips for writing great thank yous:
- Keep a supply of blank note cards on hand. Don’t use thank you notes that are pre-printed with a sentiment inside, that’s tacky! Choose small size note cards that will help you be quick and concise in your wording.
- Keep it simple. Express gratitude by saying thank you, mention the gift and what you will use it for. If the note is to acknowledge someone’s efforts, let them know how much it means to you. Say something about looking forward to seeing them again, or something to that effect. Then sign off with an appropriate greeting: sincerely, love, fondly, whatever feels right to you.
- If your child receives money as a gift, you do not need to mention the amount, simply thank the giver for their “generosity.
Do you and your children write thank-you notes together?