In our technology driven world, I know people have different opinions about this, but here’s why I think teaching kids to write hand-written ‘Thank You’ notes is still important:
Someone took the time to buy them a gift, or even just to send money. They took the time to think about it, and made the effort to do it. Making the effort to write out a thank you note in return, shows real appreciation. It says, “Your gift meant enough to me to take 3.5 minutes to write you to thank you.” Yes, a text would take 30 seconds, and an email would take 1.5 minutes, but a hand-written note says a whole lot more.
It teaches kids to be appreciative. They have to stop, for just those few minutes and process the thoughts in their head, and then put them on paper. They actually have to think about the fact that they are grateful for the gift or gesture. Really, think about it - this writing and brain processing is how learning takes place. Doing this repetitively over the years helps develop true appreciation. Or at least how to fake it well.
Obviously, it acknowledges receipt of a gift that has been shipped. Have you ever wondered whether someone got that gift or money you sent that you heard nothing about? Pure common courtesy.
It’s great practice for mastering the art of completing a task they don’t really want to do. Because we all have those, right? And I have yet to see a kid get really excited to sit down and write thank you notes. ...except last Christmas when my son and I were competing to see who got theirs done first - I won. Even I don't really like having to sit and write them, but I know how and can get it done and feel good about it.
Even in today’s technology world, nothing holds up to a hand written thank you note after an job interview. They’ll have learned to do it well if they’ve practiced as kids.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with good manners!
Okay, I'm off my soap box.