It can be hard for children to understand the importance of a thank-you note and how to make it meaningful and sincere. When we ourselves receive a heartfelt thank-you note, we often realize what an impact they can have on us and the true purpose for giving them.
As parents it is important to not only teach and model a sense of gratitude for our children but to make it a regular practice. Identifying that which we are thankful for and knowing what it is to feel thankful provides the basis for expressing thanks to others for their gifts or kind gestures. So what does a meaningful thank-you note include and how do we help our children find the words to express the specialness of the gift?
Let’s start with the basics. All thank-you notes should include:
- A greeting
- An expression of thanks
- Mention of the specific gift
- A closing with your signature
Meaningful and memorable thank-you notes include:
- A mention of feelings that the gift elicited
- An explanation of why it was special
- A statement of how the gift will be used or is being enjoyed
- A compliment or acknowledgement of the giver’s thoughtfulness
Of course, the depth of what the note includes will depend on your child’s age. A drawing depicting the gift would certainly be appropriate. Pre-writers and beginning writers can dictate what they would like written.
Here are some tips for guiding children in writing thank you notes:
- Make it fun! Set up an invitation with papers, note cards, markers, pens, paints, stamps, envelopes, postage, and an address book. Add interesting embellishments like photos, decorative tapes and stickers.
- Sit down with your child to write some thank-you notes of your own. Make it a family experience. You’ll be modeling the behavior and will be available for guidance and encouragement.
- Ask questions about why they like the gift and what they like to do with it, what is unique about it and what are some of the gift’s special qualities. This will help your child identify thoughtful sentiments to include in the note.
- Let children express themselves in their own voice.
… and to help your child with the writing process, please enjoy our Letter Strip as a token of our gratitude for you!
We hope this helps guide your young ones on a lifetime appreciation for the art of crafting meaningful thank-you notes. Remember, a thankful heart is a happy heart!