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Teach Youth Kindness, Gratitude With Thank You Notes


Nearly 60 percent of Americans say they send thank you notes at least occasionally to show their appreciation for a gift or favor, according to a recent poll from AmericanGreetings. com. While writing thank yous might seem time consuming, it’s actually a wonderful opportunity to teach children important life lessons such as kindness, gratitude and empathy.

Whether they are thanking their new teacher, their favorite fall sports coach, or a friend or family member, here are a few tips and tricks for creating meaningful — yet simple — thank yous with children this backto- school season and beyond.

It’s important to give children a “why.” Parents should explain that when people receive a thank you note, it not only makes them feel good, but it lets them know that the gift arrived safely and was appreciated. By placing the emphasis on the person who gave them the gift

— rather than on themselves — it changes thank yous from a painpoint to a positive.

Children love devices – so put their screen time to good use with apps like American Greetings Creatacard for iPad. The app offers a fun, easy and engaging tool to make and send greeting cards. Plus, receiving them will be just as exciting — as homemade cards from children are enjoyed by 93 percent of Americans!

Whether making a card from scratch, coloring a card or customizing a pre-made design, the Creatacard app allows children to explore their imaginations. Simply choose from a variety of virtual (and mess-free) tools, such as pencils, paint, markers, photo frames, stamps and stickers to add designs, images and personalized messages. Best of all, the app is free to download, and cards can be sent instantly via email, text, messaging apps or shared on social media.

According to the American Greetings poll, personalized messages are the most important and enjoyed part of thank you notes. Parents should encourage kids to think about what made the gift so special and be sure to communicate that message. Was it something they really needed or wanted? Will they use the check or money for a specific purpose? Spending a few extra minutes personalizing each note will go a long way to show their sincere appreciation.

It’s proper etiquette to be timely in sending thank you notes. In fact, 54 percent of Americans say they should be sent within one week of receiving a gift. Build good habits with children by sending thank yous as soon as possible. It may be helpful to plan ahead and establish a set time within a week of the celebration for children to create and send their cards. And luckily, if you’re sending digital greetings, they’ll arrive instantly, save money on postage, and save time by eliminating the need to find current street addresses.

Teaching children the importance of properly showing gratitude is a life skill they can take with them as they grow older. Starting small with thank you notes can be an invaluable step to becoming a kinder and more gracious person.

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