How to Teach Your Child the Value of a Thank You

I bet your children had a wonderful time this past Christmas opening all of their gifts. The wrapping paper was flying, decorative ribbons were tossed and eyes sparkled when they were set upon an “unexpected” gift just for them. It is always nice to receive gifts. As a gift giver, it is also nice to receive thank you notes. As we progress through the digital era, a hand-written thank you note is probably something you will continue to see less of in your life. Only a homeschool parent could turn that around and bring hand-written thank you notes back into popularity.
I do not know what it is about homeschool parents, but we have to turn everything into a learning experience. As a homeschooling
parent, I have to say that is not so bad, since a lot of the behavior we exhibit as adults is what we learned as children. Learning the proper response when something is received and the value of a thank you note are lessons that should be taught. Besides building character, teaching your children to say thank you and also understanding the importance of writing thank you notes are values that will carry them through to adulthood. They may be that remembered, and later hired, candidate after a job interview.
Here are some ways to get your children started with writing thank you notes:

Start Early
Start your children with thank you notes as soon as they are able to hold a crayon.

Be Creative
Handmade cards are always the best. Let them draw pictures or cut and glue designs onto cardstock for a unique card. These will be cherished upon receipt as well as when the child grows older. My grandfather kept many of my handmade cards that were later returned to me for remembrance after he died.

Let them Dictate
If your child is not able to write their own words, let them dictate the content of their note to you. If they are able to write, let them put their own words down. Some suggestions for children who are not able to come up with anything to say are to write about how they felt when they received the gift, how they will use the gift or what they plan to purchase or save for with the money they received.

Remind your children that no one deserves a gift. Also, one should not give to receive. If someone took the time to give a gift to you, you should take the time to properly thank them – write a thank you note.

When was the last time you hand wrote a thank you note?

Jennifer Smeltser writes for HomeLife Academy. HomeLife Academy is an official private school serving thousands of home educators. For more of Jennifer's articles, visit the Homeschool Roster.

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