Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Saying Thank You

When my brother and I were tweens we would sometimes get gifts from grandparents or others that were checks. The best way my mom had of getting us to sit down and write a quick thank you note for the money was to not cash the check for us until we had written the note. Let me just clarify that I usually got my money before my brother did!

We know how much work it is to remember a birthday, get to the store, try to figure out what we should buy that the person will like and is in our budget, wrap the present, and if necessary mail it. Even getting out the checkbook and writing a check to get in the post on time requires some work, plus the time put in on the job to earn the money. So writing a thank you note for five minutes isn't really asking that much in return. 

In today's world, paper and ink letters are rare, but what a delight to find one among the junk mail and bills that are dropped into our mailbox every day! Bringing the supplies out right after you clear the dinner dishes away while everyone is still at the table can make it a fun group project. If you want your children to write a thank you note, any paper will do. If they like to make their own cards that's great, but if you feel you all lack creativity, a piece of notebook paper works, too. For children too young to write, we all love getting a picture, or even a scribble to show we have been thought about.

However I'm not against an email, text, or even phone call thank you. You could bring these supplies to the table too, and be a modern family! It's nice to know that your efforts were appreciated and that the present actually arrived.

Reasons to Say Thank You

  • For a gift -- This is the most obvious one and what we think of when we are reminded to say thank you.
  • For a favor -- If someone collects your mail, gives you a ride, helps with a project, or takes your turn in a service, they will appreciate it being acknowledged. 
  • For a kind word -- Sometimes someone says something to you that just makes your day, whether it is a compliment on a good job, noticing your weight loss, or saying they are praying for you, a follow up thank you will probably make their day.
  • For the faithful work they do -- there are many jobs that are only noticed if they don't happen that are faithfully done by people behind the scenes who might just need a bit of encouragement to know that what they do is valued. This is my favorite kind of thank you to write because these people seldom expect it.
  • For anything that you appreciate -- anything you notice in your daily life that makes you smile or encourages you to keep going is worth a thank you.

What to Say in a Thank You

These are the guidelines we gave our kids when writing a thank you. We said it had to be at least five sentences, but whether written or spoken these are the basics to include:
  1. "Thank you for the ____." -- Say specifically what you received whether it is money ("generous gift"), candy, a useful item, or a toy.
  2. What you will do with it -- "I am planning to put the money toward _______." "Dark chocolate is my favorite." "I have already had some hot chocolate in the mug." "We played three rounds right away."
  3. Something about yourself -- "The soccer team I am on is only having a so-so season, but I have fun playing." "I'm in high school now and have a lot more homework." "I am currently crocheting an afghan that I hope to finish this year." "I have been enjoying taking walks in the beautiful weather we are having."
  4. Something about them -- "Mom told me you were just in Scotland. That sounds fantastic!" "I hope you are feeling better since your surgery." "I hope we get to see each other this year. I'm looking forward to going out for ice cream with you again." Or the old standby, "I hope you are doing well."
  5. Thank you again.

Who will you thank today?

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Shannon tells her hack:
No phones, no tv, and we bought a conversation starter game. We made it work. It was a struggle at first but you have to want it enough to make it happen. Stand your ground 
Read Shannon's blog here

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1 comment:

  1. Wonderful reminder of how important it is to help with teaching our grandchildren to say thank you.



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