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Child Care


Getting Kids to Write Thank You Notes

Getting Kids to Write Thank You Notes

By Elizabeth Pantley Author of Kid Cooperation, Perfect Parenting and Hidden Messages

Doing the things that demonstrate good manners isn't always easy or fun. But having good manners will help your child have better friendships, happier family relationships, and an easier time adjusting to the nuances of our society. No child is born with good manners. Manners are definitely something that need to be taught. Over time, and with practice, your child will naturally begin to repeat the things she has been taught from a young age.

One of the social graces that is often overlooked is writing of the Thank You Note. It is so important that children learn from a young age that it is appropriate to write a thank you note anytime they receive a gift, or anytime they have been a guest at someone's home.

Children will learn what they are taught, and here are some ways to begin the habit of writing thank you notes.

Get the motion going: Soon after your child receives a gift, sit down with her and help her compose and write a thank you note. Put the paper in front of her, hand her a pen or crayon and suggest an opening line, "Let's write Grandma's thank you note. Maybe you want to say . . . "

Take advantage of their computer skills: Have your child compose thank-you notes on the computer. Most kids enjoy working on the computer and are comfortable with it. Created with care, a computer-generated note, with an added personal comment, is an acceptable way for kids to show their appreciation.

Make it fun: Thank you notes don't have to be boring! A child can be encouraged to get creative: a collage, a photo, a drawing there are many fun ways of getting the point across. What's most important is that the giver feels acknowledged.

Thank You Note first/Play second! Create a new family rule: You may only play with a gift after the thank you note has been written. This will get the job done quicker than anything else!

Excerpted from Perfect Parenting : The Dictionary of 1,000 Parenting Tips by Elizabeth Pantley.

Copyright 1999 by Elizabeth Pantley (http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth)

Reproduced with permission by NTC/Contemporary Publishing Group, Inc.

Books by Elizabeth Pantley

* Kid Cooperation : How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate

Would you like to know how to get your children to willingly cooperate? Would you like to eliminate many of your daily battles and end the yelling, nagging, and pleading? Would you like to handle discipline issues with knowledge and authority? During this process, would you like to learn how to boost your children's self-esteem, feel better about yourself as a person, and even improve your marriage?

* Perfect Parenting : The Dictionary of 1,000 Parenting Tips

In my years of raising eight children and advising parents through my pediatric practice and through twenty-three parenting books, I have learned as much as I have given. I have discovered one parenting dilemma that arises repeatedly. This dilemma is the arduous process of deciding on the right course of action when confronted with a discipline or behavior issue.

* Hidden Messages : What Our Words and Actions Are Really Telling Our Children

In Hidden Messages, parent and educator Elizabeth Pantley shares stories drawn from hundreds of parents that demonstrate how they unknowingly send their kids negative messages through their words and actions. After each story she provides a gentle lesson by showing the child's perspective on the same scenario and offers suggestions for specific changes parents can make to improve the hidden messages behind theirwords and deeds.

* Baby Place Bookstore

For more about raising children, come visit our bookstore. Feel free to browse!

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