To this day, my kids tell me they are so thankful that I taught them how to write a thank you letter. At the time, they did not like it. But as adults they continue to remind me their habit of writing thank you letters and notes has helped them in a variety of ways as an adult.
As an adult, their thank you letters have opened doors at work, allowed them to be placed on special projects, built relationships with those at church and in their community. It usually comes easy to girls. Yep, you’re right. My girls are fantastic thank you note writers. But, Hunter is also a good writer of thank you letters.When he was interviewing for jobs, he bought a box of solid color thank you cards. He wrote many thank you letters during that time.
In Hunter’s job, he continues to write thank you letters. Some are by email because that’s the only contact info he has. Others are more personal as he is able to mail the thank you card.
This is Day 2 of our Thanksgiving Ideas. Today I’m going to share some tips on how to write a thank you letter. Tips to use as your teach your kids to express their gratitude through a thank you letter.
What Method Teaches How to Write a Thank You Letter?
If you’ve never taught them how to write thank you letters, today is the perfect time to start. By practicing right now, they will be experts at thank you cards by the time Christmas comes around. Then, they can write thank you letters for the gifts they receive.
Start by making a list of who your child wants to thank and why. In November, your kids can thank their grandparents for coming to their soccer game or other event. In December, your kids can write thank you letters for the gifts they receive. Once they have a list, follow these simple instructions.
I like to use the 1 paragraph outline (from IEW) for a thank you card. Here’s a short synopsis of that outline. Each point below can be one sentence.
- Start with an introduction sentence stating what you are thanking recipient for
- Tell how you like that character quality/gift/item for which you are thankful.
- Tell recipient how you will use that gift or how that character quality impacts you
- Further explain why you are thankful
- Restate original reason (clincher) you are thankful
It’s perfectly okay for your kids to outline their thank you cards before they write them. Use my ‘How to Write a Thank You Letter’ free printable to get started. Just fill in your name & email below to receive the outline. Print out one for each thank you card your child needs to write.
Have your child choose one person on their list of thank you’s. Let them fill out the outline above. Tomorrow, they can write their thank you draft. Once you read their draft, you should lightly edit it.
The following day, they can rewrite their thank you in their best handwriting.
Remember, there are two components of a well-written thank you card.
1. Be Specific
When you write thank you cards, be specific about what you are thanking your recipient. If your recipient did something for you, tell them specifically how their action impacted you. If your recipient gave you something, tell them specifically how that gift impacted you.
2. Be Sincere
Being sincere should be obvious, but not everyone follows the sincerity rule. Thank you cards should be sincere, not a lot of fluff. A good thank you card is a heartfelt card, telling that person what you feel from the heart.
Finally, teach your child how to address an envelope with the return address & mailing address of the recipient.