In 2017, I did a blog about teaching children of all ages to send thank you notes as a life skill. This social skill is still a huge passion of mine and I decided to re-post part of that submission and add a few thoughts.
This decision emerged as a result of my recent encouragement of followers to do something special and unique to honor of our 2020 graduates … I wanted to remind everyone that graduates need to send an appreciation correspondence for any congratulatory gifts received.
Here are my past and present thoughts …
Sending a thank you note is NOT an OPTIONAL TASK! My parents made me send thank you notes when I was a young kid. I then followed suit and can recall saying to my own kids, “If you are not grateful enough to take 5 minutes and write a thank you, then I’m sending this gift back!” (Yep, I was one of the those parents who made threats … and not idle ones, as my kids will attest to.)
Let’s face it … thank you notes are a powerful statement of etiquette knowledge as well as a necessary habit to form early on in life. Hand written notes, which can be as short as a few sentences, take only a few minutes to do, and have huge benefits …
- gift giver feels appreciated
- gift giver knows you received a mailed gift
- allows receiver to build a stronger relationship with giver
- shows receiver knows and chooses to use good manners and rules of etiquette
- teaches how to address an envelope properly (something this generation doesn’t have do much)
In Book 2, I remind readers to specify what the gift was and how it will be potentially enjoyed. For example, seniors may receive money as a graduation gift. So, in the note, tell the giver that you plan to buy dorm furniture, pay for books, or buy new clothes for your job with the cash! If you receive a book (like my niece did in this thank you note example), mention you are looking forward to reading it!
The rule says if you are able to thank someone in person, a note isn’t needed, but it never hurts. And although thank you notes sent via email or text are not preferred, they certainly are better than not sending one at all.
So, I encourage adults to teach children as young as possible to send a note of gratitude. There is nothing sweeter than a picture (or scribble) thank you card. Adults can always print what a 3-year wants to say and certainly teen correspondence shows maturity. Know what I mean?
Start now if you haven’t been sending thank you notes for things or have just got slack on the practice … everyone will thank you!
Make the most of your day!