Thank You Letters that don’t put your kids off forever

I have a mental block with posting things.  I know I have.  I know where it came from too!

I can see my Dad on the other side of the dining room table nagging me AGAIN about whether I have sent the Thank you letters for my presents.  I have a touch (ok, maybe a lot!) of stubbornness in me, so every nag delayed every card being written and sent.  The cards were probably written promptly, but they were always delayed in being sent, and since then everything I’ve ever posted has been terribly late.

The dichotomy is that I’m really keen on saying thank you, and on being grateful for life, not just presents.  Curly Headed Boy and I run through a list of what we can say ‘Thank you’ for every night, and it is a great way of relaxing him, bringing the day to an end, and helping to reduce the 4-5yr old tendency of complaining about what they don’t have.

So I’m keen on thank you letters.  I write a list of what presents arrive as they are unpacked, especially during the crazy birthday party mahem that ensues when you have invited tonnes of people to a party.  So I’m always able to make sure that people get a proper thank you card.  Curly Headed Boy also likes to make cards, so I often buy blank ones which are there whenever he wants them.

However, we’ve been tired this Christmas.  There’s been a lot to do.  I only just managed to get the Christmas cards out, and there was no letter this year, and some cards were delayed by lack of stamps.  Curly Headed Boy was not looking forward to going back to school, so anything that smacks of similarity to school work is extremely unpopular.  So I was faced with how to get thank you cards done, and not instil in him the same problem with the post!

This is what I came up with:

He loves drawing and practicing writing, so he gets to make a picture (you probably can’t see the book, train, teddy and christmas tree!), Big Hairy Northern Hubby likes taking and printing photos, and I just need to slap myself a couple of times to get them into an envelope and the hubby posts: a family effort and RESULT!

Try to remember to encourage your kids to do things in a way that makes sense to them, rather than just ‘because you should’.  I know it’s easier to say ‘because you should’, and there is always a time and place for that.  But, it can make longer term problems for you; I’m sure my Dad would agree with me if he was around!  So if you are still struggling to get the thank you cards done, have a think of an alternative way, that gets the message across, makes the giver feel cared for, but is also fun for your kids.  Hows about a picture you email, or a video, or a phone call where they describe why they liked the present?

(By the way, there will be a free webinar in February which will teach you more about understanding your values, and how different they are from your family’s, so you might like to subscribe to my blog or newsletter or both, to make sure you don’t miss out.  You get a free online course at the moment if you subscribe to my newsletter, which will teach you all about your values as well.  I’ll be removing the offer at the end of January, so get it whilst it’s there!).

2 comments

  1. Thanks for the timely post. Unwritten Thank You cards STILL on my desk on 13 Jan …off to find glitter pens, stickers and bright, shiny objects to entice the girls when they get in from school. Stamps already in purse :o) L x

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