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.