Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gratitude and Thank you cards

As soon as my son was able to write his name, I started having him help write thank you cards for his birthday and Christmas gifts. I wrote the note, he printed his name and drew a picture. Now that he's older, he is able to write a short sentence in a card. However writing more than one card at a time is overwhelming so we space them out and do one a day.

I think it is very important to write thank you cards more than just saying thank you because it helps teach my kids to express their thanks. Though many people feel a verbal thank you is enough, I feel learning to write thank you cards is a good thing to teach my kids. I really like this quote to remember how important it is to teach my children to give thanks.
"Often we feel grateful and intend to express our thanks but forget to do so or just don’t get around to it. Someone has said that 'feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.' "- Thomas S. Monson
Moreover, I want my children to be grateful for all gifts and learning to express thanks for them, even if it isn't exactly what they were expecting or wanted. It will hopefully help them remember that it is the thought that counts and that gift giving is an expression of love. 

So while a child may not be able to write a full thank you card on their own until they are 8-9, they can learn the habit of expressing thanks for presents from a young age by signing their name or drawing a picture in a homemade card. Another cute idea I read about was taking a picture of the child with their present and writing a note of thanks on the back of the picture.

Do you think it is important to teach children to write thank you cards or unnecessary? What other cute ideas for helping young children write thank you cards do you have?

By Malina. You can learn more Malina and her family at her personal blog.

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