This post is sponsored by BasicInvite.com. All opinions and strong beliefs in the power of gratitude and value of thank you notes is mine.
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward
Teenagers are coming of age and that likely means that they will celebrate with a milestone event or ceremony, be it a bat mitzvah, bar mitzvah, quincinera, sweet sixteen, graduation, or another event. And often those involve receiving gifts and/or acts of kindness.
Another part of coming of age is learning to express gratitude. Parents are well aware of the power that gratitude. It’s why they work hard to teach their kids to appreciate what they have and what they’ve been given.
While thinking grateful thoughts is good, expressing those thoughts is just as, if not more, important. As Gertrude Stein said, “Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.”
As kids get older, they can engage in expressing gratitude, including writing thank you cards on their own and doing so in a way that shows it is truly from them and their heart. Here are some tips for getting teens to write thank you cards.
1. Make thank you cards a clear expectation, but don’t make them a drag.
Thank you notes have been big in our house since my daughter was very little, and she knows that it’s an expectation that she’ll write them. I was still a bit surprised, though, when talking to her last night about them that she said, “They’re really not that bad, and they’re never as labor-intensive as I think they’re going to be.”
Kids pick up on your feelings, so stay positive!
And keep it manageable. Remind them that they don’t have to produce a novel, just a short and sincere message of thanks.
Crank up some fun music, set out a snack, and focus on the fun and their good fortune to have reasons to say thank you.
2. Model writing thank you notes.
Along those lines, model the behavior you wish to see. Make sure your kids see you write thank you cards and show them that it’s something that’s part of being an adult. If you need motivation, pick up a copy of the book A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life by John Kralik. He wrote a thank you note a day for a year and detailed how the practice changed his life.
3. Find thank you cards that really reflect your teen’s personality.
One way to make thank you note writing both more enjoyable for your teens and more meaningful for the recipients is to have a card that reflects both the sentiment and sender.
BasicInvite.com offers an array of thank you notes that can be personalized. I especially love the fact that, If you have a teen with an artistic bent, they can create and upload their own design, which makes the card particularly special.
I do not have that design sensibility, so I’m grateful that they have 1500 thank you card designs, including some really great birthday thank you notes.
You can find one that fits with your teen’s hobbies, like music or travel. My teen appreciated that there are many that “aren’t overly flowery” and there are several that seem gender-neutral, like this one that’s great for music lovers:
And my daughter the Francophile was a fan of this option:
My teen also loved that she could pick her favorite color. Speaking of color, they have 180 different color options. That’s quite a rainbow of options, and more than I’ve seen anywhere else.
Also, I have to say that the notes with photos of the teens really tugged at my heart strings, and I’m thinking there are lots of relatives who would just love to see your kiddo’s smiling face in the mail pile.
Hope that this helps – happy writing, and please know I’m grateful to you for reading!
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