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Coach Kids to Correspond

(page 1 of 2)

Kids need help cultivating their personal correspondence. From thank-you cards to condolences, it’s never too early for youngsters to engage in written communication.

Why write thank-you notes?

You may have heard, “Do I have to?” when your child has struggled with thank-you notes. Yes, even in our era of instant messaging, we need to write thank-you notes because:

  • It’s appropriate to demonstrate appreciation.
  • It generates a healthy attitude of gratitude.
  • A note notifies the giver that the item or kindness was received.
  • The practice develops effective communications skills and builds relationships.
  • Writing a note can be rewarding and even fun.

Be prompt with personal correspondence. Consider setting a rule that your child can’t use a new gift until the thank-you note is in the mail. Have a system for tracking who gave each gift and which gifts have been acknowledged.

“Writing teaches children to slow down and take a minute,” explains Debra Nussbaum, Manners Matter columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. People often save handwritten notes, she says. They can be very meaningful.

Make writing fun

Don’t approach the task as a chore. “Get creative and make it fun,” urges Sheryl Trower, etiquette consultant and president of The Etiquette School of Central Pennsylvania in Lititz, PA.

Trower suggests making correspondence into a special craft project for younger kids, with stickers or glitter. They can add a drawing or photo of themselves using their gifts, and they can choose the postage stamps. Older children can select stationery.

Read more tips for kids' correspondence on page 2.

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