To many people, writing letters of thanks is a dying courtesy, but not to Circle of Moms members like Amber D. and Mary R.. As Amber points out, friends and relatives would enjoy giving kids presents even more if they “at least said thank you.”
Not only should kids should write thank you notes, she says, but when they avoid the task, it is a parent's job "to reinforce their manners.”
Why do some moms feel so strongly about this issue? Here are three important benefits they say kids receive from writing thank you notes.
1. It Helps Children Learn to Feel Gratitude
Numerous Circle of Moms members say that encouraging their children to send written notes helps them teach and reinforce the importance of feeling gratitude. Says Missy S., ”I want my kids to be grateful for what they have and not complain. . . .This is one way to teach them to be more grateful and appreciate what they have.”
(Several Circle of Moms members mention another technique they've found for teaching their children to give thanks and appreciate their blessings: “My kids donate some of the toys they get for Christmas as a way to say thank you,” says Carla A., which "teaches them about sacrificial giving.”)
2. It Strengthens a Child's Bonds with Family
Mary R. says that sending written thank you notes keeps her children connected to their extended family. She had been in the habit of writing thank you notes long before becoming a mom and discovered that it came back to her in spades when her first child was born. All those friends and relatives she'd showed her appreciation to over the years sent "gifts and savings bonds" to welcome her new baby.
But Mary also points out that the impuse to say "thank you" in a formal way goes beyond mere politeness. When her grandparents passed away, she "knew without a doubt" from all her years of sending them thank you notes that they were aware "how much I loved them and appreciated them." She wants her own kids to have the same kind of tight bonds with extended and far-flung family members.
3. Good Manners Help Kids Succeed in Life
Many Circle of Moms members feel it is important for their kids to send thank you notes simply because people love getting them. The practice of writing these notes helps kids develop critical social skills that are essential to maintaining strong relationships. As a Circle of Moms member who calls herself "Schmoopy" explains, “It’s part of a larger issue of manners."
Do you make your kids send thank you notes?
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.