Girl writing thank you noteSince my last post was about gifts, it’s only natural that this one be about—thank yous!

First, a confession: I love writing thank yous. I even wrote them for a living. I understand, though, that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, so I’ve compiled my top 5 tips for writing the most thoughtful thank you ever–and for getting your kids to see the task not as a chore, but rather as a treat (really!).

1. If your child doesn’t talk yet, the note can be from you or your baby.

Some people find it cute to write in the baby’s voice—and like the note to be from the actual recipient—while others feel ridiculous. It really doesn’t matter.

2. A picture is worth a thousand words (and certainly the 10 lame ones you were planning to use).

If your kid likes art, have her draw a picture of herself with the gift. Or take a photo of her with it and use the photo to determine the text. For example, if the gift is a book from your mother-in-law to your baby, get a shot of your husband snuggled up with Baby while reading the book, include the photo in the card and write, “Dear Grandma, Thank you for the book. I love snuggling with Daddy while he reads it to me. You are always so thoughtful.” It’ll be the best thank you she ever receives.

3. When your child is old enough, take her to a doughnut shop to write.

If a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, imagine what a bear claw can do. Bring all your supplies, and don’t worry about overstaying your welcome. I’ve seen people write whole novels at Starbucks.

4. When your child is verbal, have him dictate to you.

I love this stage, which is generally the 3 to 5 range. My daughter would dictate things like, “Thanks for the shirt. I like that it’s sparkly.” I’d add a line about the giver’s thoughtfulness and finito! The only instructions I give are that it must say more than “thank you,” be nice, and can’t be a total lie (if she hates the toy, she shouldn’t say, “It’s my favorite thing!!” But she can say, “It’s in my favorite color” or “I’ve seen the commercials on TV, and now I have one!” if that’s the truth). Give her examples so she gets the idea. These should be signed with your child’s name (whether you write it or she does). 

5. Once your child can write reasonably well, have her write the whole enchilada.

Give the same instructions as in #4. 

Last year, my brothers-in-law got my 7-year-old a Hello Kitty CD player.

“How do I make sure they know how much I like it?” she asked me.

“You’ll think of something,” I said.

She thought for a moment, then got to work and showed me what she wrote:

“Dear Unckel Mickel and Unckel Steven,

Thank you for the CD player. I love it—relly love it.” 

Now who wouldn’t love to receive that?

What cute (or funny) lines have your children written in thank-you notes? Share in Comments!