writing Thank Yous

Thank you notes are a lovely way to show others that you truly appreciate them. By teaching our kids why and how to write them, we'll raise children who others will be happy to know.

When I sorted through my mail from last week, three handwritten thank you notes stood out from the pile of bills, junk mail and catalogs.

With as much time as we spend online, it's easy to send our words of thanks via email, tweet or a note on someone's Facebook wall.

Even though it's always nice to be thanked, there's just something special about receiving a thank you note in your mailbox that makes you feel appreciated and remembered.

When it comes to teaching children to express their gratitude, handwritten thank you notes are a must.

Let's explore thank you note basics, what your kids will learn from writing them, and how to make writing them more fun.

6 Thank you note writing basics

  • "If your child doesn't love the gift, they should find something nice to say about it."
    Greet the person who gave them the gift.
    Dear Aunt Mary,
  • Express their gratitude for the gift.
    Thank you for the jewelry making kit you sent for my birthday.
  • Explain how they'll use the gift. (If your child doesn't love the gift, they should find something nice to say about it. This is a skill that will come in handy throughout life).
    I love making bracelets and I'm looking forward to using the colorful beads and charms.
  • Add a line that shows they care about the gift giver.
    I hope that you are having a wonderful summer and that you're enjoying your flower garden.
  • Finish it off.
    Love, Katie
  • Mail the note, preferably within one week of receiving the gift.

5 Things they'll learn from writing thank you notes

They'll recognize what gratitude feels like and how to properly express it.

By putting their thoughts down on paper, they'll work on their communication skills.

They'll learn how to build strong relationships.

They'll practice basic manners that will serve them well throughout life.

They'll gain confidence from knowing that they were thoughtful.

Read more on teaching your kids the importance of a thank you >>

4 Ways to make it fun, or at least less painful

Keep a basket filled with pretty paper, fancy markers and pens, ink stamps, and stickers and let your kids use them only when writing thank you notes.

Take a photo of your child with their gift and have them write their thank you on the back.

Have your child draw a picture and write the thank you note on the back.

Plan a fun activity for once they've finished. Having something like a walk or a family game to look forward to can help move them along.

Read more tips for making a habit of writing thank you notes >>

More on saying thank you

Handwritten thank you notes
3 Reasons a thank you card rocks
Monday Mom challenge: Make thank you notes fun for kids

Tags: thank you notes

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Comments on "If you're grateful and you know it, write a note!"

Tonya February 27, 2012 | 1:11 PM

I am a HUGE fan of thank you notes!! I have always sent them and write them on Lucas' behalf now, with a picture he has colored so that he is a part of the process. My sister-in-law's children (10 and 8) NEVER send thank you notes and it drives me bananas. Excellent post!!

Sherri February 20, 2012 | 8:11 PM

I always have my kids write a thank you note, and I love receiving them!

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