Growing up, I was required to write thank you notes for all my birthdays. My grandma would always call after my birthday and ask if I’d gotten her card in the mail. I always felt awful if I didn’t acknowledge her with a phone call or note. I have to admit, it might have been months later before I finished the last thank you note, but I did get them all done, every year, every time.
I didn’t mind writing them, but as a kid I didn’t always know what to say. I would have a running dialogue in my head: “Too sappy…That doesn’t sound sincere…Not grateful enough!”
It’s a personal struggle each and every time. As an adult, I still dread writing them, but now I’ve also impressed the idea of writing thank you notes on my children.
Why Do We Write Thank You Notes?
From the moment my son could write letters, I made him write thank you notes for all his birthday gifts. But lately, I’ve heard a lot of people question how important it is to write thank you notes. And I noticed that every birthday party Cohen has attended, he wouldn’t receive a note.
Personally, I think thank you notes are a way to encourage a sense of appreciation. Rather than approaching them as an “obligation” (which is how I felt when I was growing up), I’ve had a conversation with Cohen around the reason why people give gifts.
I asked him how it feels when he works very hard on making something and finally gets to give it to someone. That excitement—that “I can’t wait to give this to you” feeling—is why we write thank you notes.
Creative Ways for Kids to Send Thank Yous
The problem for me (and probably most parents) is getting my kids to write thank you notes without it turning into a struggle. One trick I found was to allow Cohen to create his own way of thanking the person. Instead of just giving him markers, crayons and paper, I found a few fun thank you card ideas for him to express his gratitude. Pinterest is a mother’s best friend, especially for me since I’m not as creative!
What we do a lot—especially with Collyns since she can’t write yet—we send a video that expresses appreciation. Or we take a photo of her wearing or using the gift and send it.
There are many things we don’t necessarily like to do as children, nor can we always understand the reasons why we do them at the time. But for me, having my children write a thank you note is an opportunity to delve into family values, have a conversation, and begin to teach gratitude.
For me, I will continue to write thank you notes and so will my children.
Babies & Toddlers
In addition to the time I devote to being a mom, I also work full-time outside the home, which means my day is hardly ever as simple as nine to five. With an all-too-established schedule, as soon as I walk through the door, my day doesn’t end, but rather just begins. It’s a balancing act, especially with two children, but being a mom is one full-time job that I never want to quit!
Need Ideas for Thank You Notes?
Check out these adorable and creative thank you note ideas on Pinterest!