Getting Kids to Write Thank You Notes

Do thank you notes need to be delivered by snail mail or do you think other, more electronic methods are appropriate?

The gifts have been opened and the bows and paper throw away.

Now you have a list of presents and friends and relatives who sent them. It’s time to write thank you notes.

My son isn’t 2 yet, so I’ll be writing his notes and mine again this year, but it won’t be long before he can at least contribute to and soon pen his own thank you notes.

I have so far stuck with what I was taught as a child, to pull out the note paper and write thank you notes, but it’s almost 2013 and the electronic age has given us so many more ways to communicate, a landline, a cell phone, texting, Skype, Facetime, email and more.

Do you let your children email thank you notes or do you make them handwrite them? Do you think thank you notes are a thing of the past or maybe they’re even more important now when family and friends can be so spread apart. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Sandie Rabena December 30, 2012 at 02:48 PM
I like to always remind my kids of the effort it took to get them the gift in the first place. The person had to get into their car, travel, shop and browse, purchase and then come home and wrap and deliver their gift to them. Since that process probably took at least a few hours, they can take the few minutes to handwrite a note "from the heart," which in our house means that you cannot start the note with a mechanical "Thank you for..." Will they whine about it? Probably. Will they forget to write them? Not if you require them to write the note before they are allowed to "own it" (as in play with it, spend it or put it away) before writing that thank you note. Now that my kids are adults, I don't have to remind them to send a note when appropriate. They now realize the importance of making the person who went out of their way for them, feel appreciated. And isn't that what it's all about?
Marsha December 30, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Each of my sons has their own Thank You notes stationery. My "kids" are now 15 and 20 and they have always hand written notes for birthdays, Valentine's Day, Hanukkah, graduation, whenever a check or gift came through the mail. I explained it was one way to acknowledge that the gift was received. And they only had to write three sentences, but something from the heart. They also learned how to address an envelope. The recipients were always charmed by the thought. Because we always got a thank you call or email back!
Michele Sinnott December 30, 2012 at 09:15 PM
I'm with you, Ladies! As one who teaches the young ones, I can vouch for the necessity of hand-writing notes of thanks. First, it makes the writer stop and think about the gift and why they want to thank the gift-giver. Second, it gives them the opportunity and the time to physically write, helping motor coordination and self-expression (and hopefully GRAMMAR!). Third, everyone likes to get a letter in the mail -- even young people, but especially those "experienced" aunts and uncles! It lets them know you care and that you really ARE thankful for their gift.
Dzeldaz January 04, 2013 at 03:05 AM
Perfectly said and that is what we always taught and did with our children. The lesson of how to thank serves them well as they move into the working world. They are amazed at how many people don't know how to say thank you.
Dzeldaz January 04, 2013 at 03:08 AM
Great comments! It is gratifying to know there is still value in manners. Thank you all for your comments.


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