Parents have so much they want to pass along to their children. First and foremost, Christian parents want to hand off the baton of faith. But there is a lot for parents to teach in terms of how that faith plays out in daily life. Being the recipients of a salvation that we did not earn, we are above all grateful. And while children may feel thankful in their heart, they will need the guidance of mom and dad to learn how to make expressing thanks a lifelong habit.
After Christmas is a great time to teach children the importance of saying Thank You. Now that all those presents under the tree have been unwrapped and put to the test, it is time to let the gift-givers know how each item is enjoyed. Parents can buy a packet of Christian cards and sit down with their kids to acknowledge them.
The habit of saying Thank You starts in the home. Every person in the home should be saying those words to one another in the course of each day. But even those people who live under the same roof with us would love to receive a formal Thank You card.
Parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and grandparents are not required to give gifts to children. Gifts are free-will offerings from the heart and, as such, they should be acknowledged. Children who write a thank you note to family members are learning something important about maintaining healthy relationships.
Far away relatives did not have the gift-giver’s pleasure of watching your child open their present. They are waiting to hear more about how your child likes their gift. Help your child see that this person thought enough to send a gift and that they should recognize that gift with a thank you card.
It’s also a good idea to teach your children to write an appreciative note for actions. Maybe someone took your child to a special event or perhaps they have given your child special attention or help – these kindnesses should be noted and thanked. Each time you have your child send a thank you card, you are teaching them to realize the kindness of others.
School age children can write their own thank you cards. They need only mention the gift or action and write a brief line or two about why it was appreciated. Thank you notes don’t have to be long – but they are more meaningful when they are a step beyond email and texting.
If your child is still too young to write their own card, have them draw a picture of the gift or of themselves enjoying the present. Parents can write down the words that young child say inside the card. Let your child enjoy putting the stamp on the envelope.
People of all ages appreciate receiving a written word of thanks. Keep Christian cards on hand and make writing thank you notes a regular part of life. Christian cards are available at many stores, including the online store The Printery House, where cards are made with great care. We are thankful every day for the gift of Jesus. And every day there is something for which to give thanks.