Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Thank you notes

When was the last time you received a thank you note? Heck, when was the last time you wrote one? It seems with the ease of electronic communication, the art of hand written notes is being lost.

In my experience, it has been limited to Birthdays and Christmas when gifts are exchanged. But what about deeds? I'm a student of ballroom dancing. After my first lesson, my instructor wrote me a thank you card. I was so surprised. It was so joyful to receive something when I didn't give a gift. Since then, I continue to receive thank you notes at varies times. And I'm always so happy to receive them. They make my day. I've kept each one because these are so unique. And I go back and read them whenever I need a smile. It has even encouraged me to write thank you cards back after a performance or competition because I know my instructors went above and beyond.

Why shouldn't I express gratitude in any little way. Sort of like the pay it forward movement (which has gained popularity) but you are paying it back because it is deserved. I feel good deeds are repeated when they are appreciated. I value notes more than an email, call or in person because it is tangible and takes more time. I am a visual person so I can keep looking back at the note. I think the time investment part is partly to blame for the decline of notes because everyone is so busy these days but that is exactly why I value it more.

Parenting

I feel that writing thank you notes is an important skill to teach my son. I started out having him write thank you notes by getting him to draw a picture. I would write the message. But as he has developed his language skills, I've asked for him to think up of the message, guiding him into a simple template.

Dear <Name>
Thank you for <item>.
Something about it. Ex: I like it very much. or I will use the money to buy the Spiderman toy I've been saving up for.
Hope to see you soon.
Love <Name>

Of course this is very basic but it is a guide that I hope he will expand on. This will be something that I will continue to develop with my son.

Do you write thank you notes? If not, I hope this has inspired you to write one.