Lucas and I were in the car discussing our weekend plans. We had swim lessons, a soccer game and two birthday parties to look forward to.
Since starting kindergarten, he has been invited to 10 or more classmate’s birthday celebrations.
We started reviewing all the different fun parties he had attended this year and what the themes were. To five- and six-year-olds the theme and location are just as important as the flavor of cake and the guest list. I suppose that could be said for 40-somethings too.
All of a sudden and completely on his own Lucas recalled that of all the parties he has attended, he has only received two thank you cards.
I’m not trying to throw anyone under the bus, I know parents get busy, it’s often a fight to get a child to sit down and physically do the work, but it’s necessary. It is a simple, kind gesture that shows appreciation and gratitude. Attributes our world is truly lacking.
Writing thank you notes is a skill that every child should learn as a part of their upbringing. I did. I hated every minute of it, but I’m instilling it in my children and nothing lights up a child’s face more than receiving mail!
Before Lucas could write, I’d have him color a picture to accompany a note I had written and then we graduated to scribbling his name at the bottom of a note I had written and now we talk though two-three sentences and he writes his own cards. It’s a painstaking process but he has a sense of pride and accomplishment once the task is completed.
I know that fill-in and pre-printed/personalized cards are available, but we use colored construction paper and crayons.
Perhaps a warm hug and genuine “thank you” in person is enough? I don’t think so, but don’t take my word for it….
My friend, Tracy of Sellabit Mum wrote a great post called How to Write a Thank You Note a few years ago that I highly recommend and another friend and family physician, Dr. Gilboa posted a YouTube video, Teach Kids How to Write a Thank You Note where in less than one minute she explains the three parts kids need to write a great thank you note, and why we should bother.
Do you have your children write/send thank you cards? Why or why not?