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Getting Your Teen to Write Thank You Notes: Tips for Writing Thank You Notes

Everyone likes getting gifts. Writing thank you notes? Not so much. Many parents give their teens tips for writing thank you notes, whether they want them or not.

Through the years my daughters have been the lucky recipients of gifts from generous family and friends. But they have not always been so gracious about thanking them for their thoughtfulness. After struggling to get them writing a thank you note every time, I came up with an idea that worked for all of us. (Mostly.) They were not allowed to cash any of the checks or have any of the presents until they wrote a thank you note for that gift. I figured it was only fair.

I started by explaining the new rules and how they were going to work. My words were greeted with eye rolls and “whatevers.” But then the allure of that new basket of shower gel, body lotion, and body spray sitting on the dining room table was too much. Next came, “Mom, where are the thank you notes?” “Mom, where can I find Uncle J’s address?” “Mom, where do we keep the stamps?” It took time, but they eventually got there.

Now that my daughters are older, family members tell me about the notes they received from my daughters thanking them for their gifts. Without any prompting from me. My job here is done. 

Tips for Writing Thank You Notes

  1. Use an appropriate greeting: Dear Aunt Sally … Dear Nana and Grampy …
  2. Express your thanks: Thank you for the … I loved the … I so appreciated the way you remembered my …
  3. Add detail: I plan to use the money to help pay for my trip to California next month … Here’s a picture of me wearing the sweater I bought with the money you gave me …
  4. Mention the gift-giver: I look forward to seeing you at Thanksgiving … I can’t wait to celebrate my graduation with you …
  5. Say thank you again: Again, thanks so much for the … 

Source: Hallmark

Eca Taylor

Eca Taylor is circulation specialist for Your Teen Magazine.