If you want another holiday miracle to happen at your house – getting kids to write thank you notes – then read on. Admittedly, it has taken years of beating the thank you note drum but it finally paid off. Last year, by 10am on December 26th, all thank you notes had been written, signed, and were ready to be mailed off.
See what I mean by miracle?
Getting Kids to Write Thank You Notes
What’s the secret? It’s easier than you might think…
- Draw the line: There’s no playing, using or opening the inside packaging of a gift before a note has been written. Period. No exceptions. Gifts from Santa Claus don’t require a thank you note – but – my kids are old enough to know who to thank for those.
- Ready the materials: Having all of the homemade cards organized and in one spot and the letter writing materials (stamps, return labels) together and easily accessible, it’s much easier to get the job done. If there is any energy spent on rounding stuff up, especially when kids are involved, momentum can be lost. When kids (and adults) have a system in place, things get done.
- Lower the expectations: Thank you notes don’t need to be dissertations or book length long. Keep in mind children’s ages and go with colored pictures if that’s what is age appropriate.
- Start young: It’s easier to get kids to do something if it’s something they’ve always had to do. When kids are younger and enthusiastic about writing and drawing, that’s the best time to get them in the thank you note habit.
- Snail mail: If you are pressed for time than by all means, send an email thank you. If you can turn this into a project, write the card out, and snail mail it. Kids aren’t taught to address envelopes or where the return address goes on a letter in school any longer – well, not at my kid’s school anyway – but everyone needs to learn this.
- Take notes: While we open gifts, I jot down who gave what to whom. That way, when it comes time to write the notes. I’ve got a list ready. This also makes our gift opening frenzy a little slower.
Need some more inspiration? Check out the book, “The Guide to Good Manners for Kids” by Peggy Post. [amazon_link id=”0060571969″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ][/amazon_link] We read it out loud and discussed it – and shared our own stories of mannerly-flub-ups or thank you notes we forgot to write but months later did.
What’s your secret to getting kids to write thank you notes?
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