By Tracy Lyn Moland
Author of Mom Management, Managing Mom Before Everybody Else
Thank you -- wonderful words that we all love to hear but forget to say. Do you write thank you notes? I remember when I was a child my Mother always made my brother and I write thank you notes to our friends, family, and each other. I recall thinking that it was a lot of work. What was the point? We already had said thank you in person or on the phone. But Mom insisted it had to be done and we did it. Before long she didnít have to enforce it, we knew what to do. If we were given something, we sent off the thank you notes.
As I got older, I started to see it from a different side. A dear elderly Uncle was very generous with us and said it was because we were always so thankful. He appreciated our notes. The more thankful we were, the more he felt like giving. We learned a powerful lesson. We learned the power of gratitude! We learned to be thankful. I feel so good when I receive a sincere thank you note that I want to send one back to the sender! We also learned to look for times to be thankful Ė not just when we received gifts. We learned to be thankful for the things going on around us.
As an adult, I still send thank you cards, not only for gifts but also for thoughts, actions, and caring. I am teaching my children that saying thank you is as important as the occasion itself. As they learn to do it, they complain about it, and question it. During dinner, we often will tell each other things that happened during the day that we are thankful for. Eventually, they will realize their lives are actually enriched by gratitude. As they learn to be thankful they will see the wonder in their lives.
And as I write this I realize that I have forgotten to write the most important thank you card of all. Thank you to my Mother for teaching me this special skill. It has brought much joy into my life and the lives of those around me. Thank you for teaching me the power of gratitude and giving me something to share with those around me. Thank You Mom.
1. Send thank you cards for all gifts regardless of size (this does not have to include hostess or thank you gifts!)
2. Children must be involved in the process - writing the entire card if of age, name only, or at least a picture or a scribble. If they can't write help them dictate their words for you.
3. Keep the cards simple but personal. Do not send a form letter to everyone. If you do a form letter, make sure to add a personal message.
4. Send them as soon as possible.
5. Make this a habit for the children. You may have to insist to start, but they will come to understand the importance.
6. **As you are opening gifts, keep a list of who gave each gift. This makes it much easier to thank everyone and not forgot someone or what they gave as a gift!
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