Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thank You Cards

I received an email today that was priceless. And, when I was writing the response, I thought: "I should put this on the blog, because if two moms struggled with kids and Thank You Cards, then I bet many more have too. Also, it's a great reminder adults as well.
We have become a culture that is so accustomed to fast-paced, ever-changing information exchange and yet somewhere along the way, the simple basics of etiquette (RSVPs, Thank-You Cards, and Introductions) have escaped us.
DISCLAIMER: I am not perfect. SO, I may have missed your thank-you card following the baby's birth or some other event, but this story of a principle. It is just one of my little attempts to create good habits in my children and to teach them courtesy.
Here is the e-mail, it came from a mother (I'll call her Annie) whose son attended Connor's Birthday/Pool Party on Saturday.

Sharon -

You are an awesome Mom! We got Connor's thank you note in the mail today....it was fantastic! We are still working to get efficient at getting thank you notes done and mailed. Have a great afternoon....Annie

I replied with the following e-mail:

I laughed out loud when I read this! Thanks so much BUT, let me tell you my secret.
I gave up on trying to get the kids to sit down and write their Thank You cards. It was a losing battle with me spending time aggravated and the cards still not written.
So I changed my approach completely. All I do is make sure that we have plenty of Thank You cards on the day of the party.
The rest is up to the kids.
They must write each Thank You immediately after opening the gift; they cannot open another gift until the card is written.
How fast or slow that happens is totally up to them. It usually takes 3-4 days to open all the gifts but I have had it take as long as 2 weeks. Connor finished his last card about 2 hours ago. :0)
I have found that not only does this arrangement cut down on our arguing but it helps them to appreciate each gift more because they spend time with it before hurrying on the next gift.

Also, If there is complaining about writing the cards, I offer that they do not have to write a Thank-You card, they can simply return the gift to their friend and explain how they don’t appreciate the gift or the time, care, and money that it demonstrates. Suddenly, the thank you card is NOT such a big deal.

At Christmas, they open all the gifts at once, but the gifts must stay in the living room and can’t be played with until Thank Yous are written.

Sounds a bit outlandish when I write it out but it works AWESOME and has solved my problem with very little effort.

Thanks for your kind words and Have a great day,


Annie subsequently replied with the fact that her mom's group would enjoy hearing this method to the Thank-You Card "battle." So, I thought I would share it with my friends as well.
I hope if nothing else, you got a laugh out of some of our family fun.

1 comment:

LB said...

Sharon! I LOVE this. I'm not quite there with Taylor & Bo - they are still too young to realize that Thank Yous are a chore. But there will come a day! I'll store this tid-bit and pull it out when I need it!
- Laura B.