A Thoughtful Thank-You
Want to raise a respectful, polite kid? We do too! That's why we always make sure our children write good old-fashioned thank-you notes. Sending a card after getting a birthday present or holiday gift isn't just good manners -- it will also give your child a chance to reflect on how thoughtful his family and friends are. One way to make this a learning experience -- instead of a chore -- is to talk about why he needs to send Grandma a card. Chances are, he'll realize that it makes her happy -- and this awareness of other people's feelings is critical to raising a moral child.
So what's the formula for a perfect thank-you? "There isn't one!" says Peggy Post, manners maven and Parents contributing editor. "You should try to send it within a few days of receiving the gift, but the most important thing is to be sincere." If your child can write, let him do it himself. Sure he'll make a few spelling mistakes, but that will just make the note more authentic. Help him with the basics -- make sure he mentions the gift and how much he's enjoying it. Then when you're done, mail his thank-you together.
Turning your thank-you card into a mini art project is a great way to get your kids in the spirit. Pick supplies from this clip-and-save list, check out our ideas, and let your kids create a fridge-worthy card.
Grab These Supplies
- note cards or colorful paper
- crayons, markers, or colored pencils
- paints and paintbrushes
- decorative stamps and washable ink
- safety scissors
- envelopes and stamps
Steal These Ideas
- Take a photo of your child with the gift, print it out, and glue it to the note.
- No camera? No problem. For a personal touch, your child can draw a picture of himself using his gift.
- If your kid's penmanship isn't the best, give him letter stickers to spell out important words.
- In a time crunch? Use some of your child's old artwork (we know you have plenty). Just fold in half and let him write on the blank side.
Copyright © 2007. Used with permission from the November 2007 issue of Parents magazine.