The internet has brought families tons of modern conveniences from the glories of one-click shopping to the boatload of educational apps that keep our kiddos busy when we need it most, but there has definitely been a casualty in the digital age: the thank you note. As a matter of fact, according to a recent study completed by Snapfish, a whopping 75 percent of people think that writing a thank you note is unnecessary and outdated, only 25 percent expect one, and 14 percent said they’d be OK with getting a personal message of gratitude via email. If you’re as shocked as we are, you’re not alone. Here’s all the proof you need to get your kids cracking in the handwritten thank you note department.
1. Because manners aren’t dead, damn it! Whether they whip out your iPad and get to work hacking away at an email to grandma or they sit down with a nice set of stationary and a few pens, it’s important to teach kiddos the art of showing appreciation. And while it’s all well and good to flash a smile and say it in person, sending a brief follow-up really hammers how grateful they are home. Sometimes a quick hug just doesn’t cut the mustard. After all, the person who gave your little one the Frozen ride-on sleigh took the time to purchase it, might as well spend 10 minutes thanking them for doing so!
2. It’s a good writing exercise no matter how old you are. Sure, getting your kids to work on their fancy penmanship is a huge plus when they’re just learning cursive, but you have to admit that thanking each and every person who got you something without writing the same exact thing over and over again can be a daunting task at any age. How many times can you say “Dear blank, thank you for the amazing blank,” without going crazy? Face it. Having to approach the same topic over and over again without sounding redundant is a great way to get those little wheels turning and the creative juices flowing.
3. It’s good practice for later in life. Even if you’re avoiding having your children write thank you notes for personal reasons (yes, we’re looking at the people who never seem to have enough stamps or know anyone’s address!) they’re going to have to write them at some point or another. It’s no secret that as your kids get older the milestones they reach are going to be, well, far more noteworthy. We’re talking high school and college graduation and even their wedding. And lets face it: if people are shelling out $ 100-plus for gifts for these events, they definitely deserve a handwritten thank you note, so there’s really no point in putting off giving them the basic know-how.
4. They don’t need to do it for every little thing. While sending out thank you notes will certainly earn you points in the etiquette world, your little ones don’t need to send a personal message each any every time they get a little something from Auntie Beth who lives down the block. Reserve writing a heartfelt letter for events like birthdays and when a relative who lives far away sends your child something super-thoughtful. It’s always nice to be on the receiving end of mail, especially after you shelled out the dough for pricey shipping. Plus, nothing beats a handwritten note (accompanied by an adorable drawing) in the eyes of aunts and uncles who don’t live around the corner.
5. Research proves showing gratitude makes you happier down the road. If you needed another reason to get them writing, this one surely takes the cake. Believe it or not, a study shows that people who took the time to physically write (yes write!) out the things they were grateful for over a 10-week span were actually happier compared to those who didn’t. How’s that for a reason they can’t argue with?