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Thanks giving

How to help your child write thank you notes

Posted: 7 December 2010
by Kelly Beswick

Writing thank you notes is all part of teaching a child good manners, but the act of actually getting your child to sit down and write one can be such an uphill struggle that sometimes it just seems easier to do it yourself. But it's important that children learn to express their gratitude in a written form, so here's how to encourage the art of thank you note writing, even from a very early age.

Explain why they're important For a young child, discuss the fact that a friend or family member has taken the time and effort to buy them a special present, wrap it and send it, and why a note, acknowledging receipt and appreciation, is especially nice for the gift giver.

• Get your child involved Even a very young child can participate in the process of writing a thank you note. Allow your toddler to add their own unique touches using crayons, paints or stickers. Budding writers could be given cards that just require them to fill in the blanks. While less personal, they do require your child to focus on the greeting, the gift received and the name of the giver. Older children should be encouraged to write their own.

• Allow creativity If your child is writing the note by themselves, let them write it the way they want, than the way you want them to write it. Obviously this is within the bounds of reason – you don't want them to be too honest if they actively disliked the gift. But a note written in the child's own inimitable style is much nicer to receive than one that's been dictated by you.

• When to send It so easy to let time slip when thank you notes need to be written. Some parents insist that a toy can not be played with until the deed is done, while others require notes to be written within a set number of days. Whatever option you choose, sooner is always better than later.

• No pain, no gain Okay, so getting your child to write thank you notes can sometimes be a challenging process, but just think of the educational value! What better way to practise letter, spellings and writing sentences than through a short and personal note to a loved one?

• Practise what you preach When it comes to getting your child to write thank you notes, it really helps to lead by example. Let your child see you writing them, and hear or read what you have written. That's assuming that you do write them, which you do, don't you?

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