Receiving a present is a wonderful thing, especially when you are a child. The excitation of a wrapped gift is surpassed only by the excitation of opening the gift.
But opening the gift is only half of what you should be teaching your child about receiving a present. Sending a thank you note to the sender is just as important.
Start teaching your children early on to write a thank you for gifts. Even a very young child can understand why it is important to tell a giver thank you and help send them out.
Start by explaining to your child why it is important to say thank you for a gift. Talk about how the person cared enough for them to find the perfect item, buy it, wrap it and deliver it. Tell them how special it would be for them to get a note from your child saying how much he loved his present.
Take your child's age into consideration when choosing the thank you cards. A very young child can not write a note, but maybe they can draw a picture for the giver, and you can include a note saying how much your child enjoyed the present. A child learning to write would enjoy using a thank you card that has the fill in blanks. An older child who knows how to write should write a regular thank you note.
What should be included in a handwritten thank you? Try asking your child what they thought about the gift. You should encourage your child to say thank you, but also say why or how much they appreciated the present.
What should you tell your child if the gift was inappropriate or if it just was not liked by your child? Not every giver is going to find the perfect gift and when your child receives such an item it is a great opportunity to teach your child that it is the thought that counts. Even a gift that is not liked should have a thank you note sent. Explain to your child the present was purchased to celebrate their special day and that is what your child is thanking them for.
When should your child send out a thank you note? Every gift they receive that they are not able to thank the giver in person for describes a thank you card and they should be sent as soon as possible after it is given and opened. The evening the gift was opened is a good time to write their thank you notes. Your child is relaxing after an exciting day, and has had a chance to enjoy the present so the words should come faster for your child.
One way to instill writing thank you notes for gifts is for you to always send one out yourself. Children learn their manners from watching the people around them. In the same thought, they will learn to send out thank you notes from watching you send them out.
Raising a polite child is not difficult. Your child will learn by example how to write thank you cards. By doing, you will teach them the manners that will carry them into adulthood.