Start them young and make it fun. Be organised!
When children open their presents on Christmas morning or birthdays, methodically take down a note of the presents and from whom they came. As your children get older they can do this themselves; make it the normal thing to do. Opening presents more slowly will also help them to appreciate exactly what they have received and to remember who gave them what. Then when they next see the giver they will not look at them blankly should the gift be mentioned!
As soon as they can hold a pencil, create dot-to-dot letters for them to join up the dots and make into thank you cards, which you will have bought earlier, in readiness. See our special children’s section of thank you cards and notes.
As they become more proficient then the more interesting their notes can become. Don’t make it a job; create it into an after Christmas or birthday fun activity. Everyone is busy but if the task is planned in, there is always time to write the thank you cards. Between Christmas and the return to school, when it is cold and damp, and the family coffers have been stretched, set aside time for the thank you letters and make it a free fun activity.
Just keep reminding yourself that it is worthwhile as well as good manners. It is a courtesy that means a great deal to the older people and should mean more to others. You will give your child good manners that will last a lifetime.
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