Kids Should Be Forced to Write Thank You Notes Whether They Like It or Not

child writing thank you noteSometimes it takes me a lot longer than it should to get them sent out, but ever since I was a little kid, writing thank you notes after receiving gifts hasn't ever been an option -- it's been a must.

I mean, if someone was kind enough to think of you and took the time to buy you a gift, the least you can do is thank them for it, right?

But sadly, it seems like the practice of sending handwritten thank you notes seems to be dying out, especially among kids. (Think about it for a second. How many have you received from the countless birthday parties your children have attended?)

Yes, it can be hard to find the time to do it. And yes, it can be pretty repetitive and tedious, particularly if you've received a ton of gifts. But forcing kids to write thank you notes is something that every parent should do.


Because kids who aren't taught to send thank you notes will grow into ungrateful adults who don't send thank you notes, and then they won't teach their kids to send thank you notes, and then we'll wind up with a society of people who don't give a rat's ass about showing appreciation to others. (And that will really stink.)

A few days ago, I finally got around to writing thank you cards for the gifts my son received for Christmas. (Yes, I know it's been almost a month, but things have been nuts around here.)

As I was writing them, it suddenly dawned on me that he's almost 7 years old, and he's known how to read and write for quite some time, and in that moment I wondered why in the hell I was writing them for him when he's perfectly capable of doing it himself. (Old habits die hard, I guess.)

It's definitely the right time for him to take over, so from here on out, my little guy will be writing his own thank you notes, whether he likes it or not. In fact, his birthday is at the beginning of March, and I think that's as good an occasion for him to start as any.

And I don't care how much grief he gives me or what kind of tricks he pulls to try and sucker me into writing them for him again -- I'm not backing down on this one. It's his turn to step up to the plate, and it's my responsibility to make writing thank you notes a habit he never breaks.

Do you make your kids write their own thank you notes? What age did you stop writing notes for them?


Image via one tiny spark/Flickr

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