5 Reasons to Teach Your Child to Write ‘Thank You’ Notes

Posted by Lauren Elkins on May 13, 2017 1:33:32 PM

A handwritten expression of gratitude benefits the writer and the recipient more than any text or email can.Thank You Note.jpeg  Our understanding of culture, history, and our own families comes by reading preserved letters of the past.  Yet in an over-scheduled world tethered to smart technology, a simple act of gratitude can be easily dismissed, but its positive effects should be remembered.

1.  A Grateful Heart Is a Less Entitled Heart

Gratitude changes us.  Do you want your children to feel less entitled to everything?  The act of expressing appreciation shifts the focus from the receiver to the giver.  William Arthur Ward observed, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” 

A statement such as “Thanks Mom, for making our favorite cookies for us this week” may seem simple, but it is the underlying acknowledgement that Mom has a thousand things to do every week, yet she made time to do something extra for the family.

Ultimately, the changed heart also strengthens faith and produces fewer challenges.

2.  Write a ‘Thank You’ Note Because It Is Healthy

The American Journal of Cardiology showed positive emotions associated with gratitude are linked with changes in heart rate variability.  Likewise, a study released by the American Psychological Association linked thankfulness with improved mental well-being.

Additionally, gratefulness has been linked to a better immune system, while other studies have linked gratitude to combating adolescent angst and depression. 

Finally, daily gratitude increases enthusiasm and improves sleep while reducing stress.

3.  ‘Thank You’ Notes Build Writing Skills

If you want your children to express themselves more articulately, teach them to write.  When a young person puts pen to paper and expresses appreciation for the gift of the sweater from Grandma and articulates why it is appreciated, he or she Thank You Note.jpegis refining their ability of expression. 

Writing a ‘thank you’ note also promotes self-understanding.  One’s personality and style will become more evident in the writing process.  Research indicates we use a different part of our brain when writing, and the more we use our brains, the healthier they will be in the long term! 

4.  Writing a ‘Thank You’ Note Builds Intimacy

Social media is rapidly replacing face-to-face communication, which negatively affects the ability to make meaningful connections.  After the installation of telephones in every home, the letter was still a relevant tool, but is on the verge of extinction because of smart phones and social media. 

Connecting with others is essential to our emotional well-being, and it is not only related to ‘thank you’ notes.  Now, when someone dies, a friend will send a text saying, “Sorry for your loss;” however, significant life events deserve a handwritten note.  Save texting for routine communication like coordinating who will pick up the kids from soccer. 

However, for our children to develop into considerate adults, they need to have relationships that foster growth in self-expression while showing respect and empathy.  These essential social skills are at serious risk as our children immerse themselves in handheld devices.Thank You Note.jpeg

5.  A ‘Thank You’ Note Is Its Own Gift

With all of the personal benefits intrinsic to the ‘thank you’ notes, we might miss the best part of a handwritten letter, the power to uplift and encourage someone else’s day.  Unlike a phone call, the handwritten note can be reread, continually encouraging the reader and spurring them on to future good works.  This is a gift in and of itself.

Therefore, who needs a ‘thank you’ note from you?  Commit to writing one today.

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Topics: Teaching Your Child