Manner Monday®: Creative ways to get your kids to write thank you notes

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by Carey Sue Vega in Etiquette, Family, Manner Monday

It’s that time of year… the Christmas presents have long been unwrapped, played with, and some – well, unfortunately they’ve already been forgotten about (sad but true, right!?).

Now that we’ve packed away the Christmas tree and nativity scenes.  And tucked away the Nutcrackers until next year…  it’s time to get the pen and paper out, and write a few thank-you notes. I don’t know very many people who actually enjoy the process of writing thank-you notes… but I do know A LOT of people who really enjoy getting gifts!

And like it or not, showing gratitude in the form of an old-fashioned handwritten thank-you note to gift givers is part of the process.  Researchers from the University of California at Davis and Southern Methodist University found that writing a “thank you” note is a simple, proven way to boost your child’s gratitude. They also discovered that being thankful and showing gratitude might be the key to raising your child’s levels of happiness and well-being.

So how do get the kiddos to actually write the notes without turning it into a battle?

Have fun:  I’m a big fan of having fun and being creative.  One thing I’ve started doing with our son, is surprising him with something after each note he writes.  For example, after writing a note, I’ll say, ‘quick, run around the room’.  Or maybe, ‘eat an Oreo’, or ‘do a handstand’.  He thinks it’s funny and he’s excited to see what I’m going to say next so he’s quick to get the next note written.

Make it an event:  I have a friend and colleague Mindy Lockard, aka The Gracious Girl, who makes it into and event with her girls and calls it Tea, Toast, and Thank-you’s.  They’ve turned it into a tradition that the girls actually look forward to after birthdays and Christmas.

Use Technology:  If you need to thank a grandparent or someone who lives out of town – get out the technology.  Take a few minutes to talk about how to verbally thank a grandparent, prompting your child with conversation starters and what to say and how to say thank-you. Then face-time with them and make sure your child participates in the conversation and asks the grandparent about their day and looks them in the eye while they’re talking. 🙂

Here are some other posts that may help you to get motivated to work on your notes:

Recommended Reads:  Here are a couple of books with great ideas to help kids put pen to paper

I’d love to hear any tips you have to help make the process fun!

If you’re new to Manner Monday, I’d love for you to take a minute to learn more about why I started it. You can click here to read my very first post that tells all about it.

Thanks for reading!
Carey Sue

In other news….

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