Texts, emails and cell phone calls are marvels of modern technology. In mere seconds, we’re in touch.
But when it comes to saying thank you, I am decidedly old-school. It takes just a few minutes to jot words of thanks for a gift, a favor or a kindness. And nothing will warm the giver’s heart more than a hand-written note.
In our linked up world, I fear that the well-written thank you note could fast become a relic of the 20th century. My kids are texters–they live in an era of LOLs and TTYLs, where every sentiment can be shortened to a snappy acronym. So getting them to pen thank you notes can be a bit of a challenge.
Emily Post offers some wonderful, age-appropriate suggestions for helping kids write notes, many of which we’ve been following for years. Even as pre-schoolers, my children were part of the note-writing process, dictating their thanks as I transcribed, and adding their “signatures” below. As they’ve grown, they’ve gradually taken over the writing (or, in my artsy daughter’s case, the drawing). Nowadays, my job is to create the time and place for them to write their notes, usually at the kitchen table when I’m cooking, and to offer spelling help. I also make sure they have fun stationery on hand; lately I’ve been using photo-sharing sites to order notecards with their pictures on them. These keepsakes are always a big a hit with out-of-town relatives.
Do my kids love writing thank you notes? Probably not. But it’s a habit that will serve them well. Just last week, my 13 year old was retuning some books a neighbor had loaned him and he remembered to include a short note of thanks. She was touched–and he came back with an armful of new reading! (more…)