Birthdays, holidays, graduations, interviews—the list of momentous occasions that gifts go along with is huge. After the party and presents, there's just one more thing your child needs to address: thank you notes. A healthy show of gratitude is a good way to put a smile on someone’s face, and there’s something extra special about handwritten notes. Show your child how to put his best foot forward and make a good impression with an old-fashioned “thank you"!
Have your child make his own stationery out of a nice piece of card stock, or help him pick out thank you cards he likes at a card or office supply store. Encourage him to either make or choose cards that are simple, yet elegant looking. Solid colors make a good choice; they tend to be the least distracting from the message.
Make sure he starts writing his thank you notes promptly, shortly after the party or ceremony. Out of courtesy, he should try to send them out as soon as possible, but it also helps to write them while the details are still fresh in his mind. Here are some questions he may want to think about:
What does he appreciate about the gift he received? Why is it so special to him? Is there anything specific that he thinks the gift will come in handy for?
Did he have an especially good time with the guests that gave him this gift? Maybe he hadn't seen them in awhile. Did they make a long trip to get there? Or, maybe he sees them all the time, and he couldn't have imagined the party without them! Encourage him to mention what made their attendance at the party so special.
What are his future plans? Urge him to update his family or friends on his upcoming adventures, especially if he's writing the thank you note for a graduation gift.
Next, ask him jot down a rough draft of the thank you note on a piece of scratch paper. Make sure he’s answered some of the above questions and anything else that strikes him as important.
Have him read through the note a second time, and ask him to check for any grammar errors or spelling mistakes. If he’s unsure of how to spell anything in particular, encourage him to check the dictionary!
Now, it’s time for him to write the final draft, using the scratch paper as a guide.
If he'd like, he can also include a small photo of himself inside the card. Make it a school photo or professional graduation photo if you have them available. Your child's growing up fast, and a photo makes a great memento to remember him at that age!