10 Reasons for Sending Thank Yous After a Kids Birthday PartyPosted on Apr 11, 2012
Kids Birthday Party Practices – 10 Reasons for Sending Thank You Notes
So, you’re planning a kids birthday party or just hosted one? What’s the proper etiquette or protocol for handling thank yous after your child’s big celebration? Are such thoughtful expressions a lost art? Has technology and instant communications made it more difficult to write an old fashioned thank you note? Is saying thank you to the gift giver at the kids party enough?
Whatever the case, it seems to me times have changed. My kids are at that age of attending their friends’ birthday parties and I am surprised how few thank you notes they receive. Unfortunately, expressions of gratitude are becoming less commonplace nowadays. Of course, it can be for a variety of reasons. Some kids and parents are often busier today than ever before and it’s probably not right to think someone is being rude if they don’t send out a thank you note.
This topic was recently discussed online and mom Diane Tellone-Walker says she made it a point to send out thank yous to each guest that came to her 5-year olds party. She finds that a kids birthday party is a teachable moment for children.
While some parents don’t have the patience to sit down with their child to write out thank you notes, “Teaching our kids to be grateful is soooooooo important,” Diane says. “Especially these days!”
Mom Caroline Chapman couldn’t agree more. “Every event/gathering is a wonderful time to practice manners!” she says. And as another mom put it “Part of having good manners is letting other people’s bad manners slide.”
Adding to that sentiment, another parent suggested “the main PURPOSE of children’s birthday parties is teaching them how to graciously give and receive gifts!”
On the Berkeley Parents Network, this issue also has been heavily discussed.
Here’s some of the best insights I came across and wanted to share with you as perhaps food for thought:
1. Avoid using “fill-in-the-blank” thank you cards. It can be perceived as impersonal, regardless of the thank you gesture.
2. If your child can’t yet write, have him or her dictate thank you notes for every present received. Then have your child at least sign their name, if they can, or draw a picture if they are younger. Kindergarten children are at a great age to be taught the importance of saying thank you. ”Writing” a note with the assistance of their parents (and signing their own name if they can) is a great activity for teaching this valuable lesson.
3. While it may be tempting, do not lower your standards of what is basic common courtesy just because other families have never sent your child a thank you note. Basic manners are not old-fashioned, but certainly will be old news if more and more people give up.
4. Having your child write thank you cards can be a fun project.
5. Remind your children, if someone took the time (and money!) to go to a store, select a gift, wrap it and give it to them, the least they can do is take 3-4 minutes to write a thank you note.
6. Let your child’s good habits and courtesy be an example for their friends to write thank you notes when their birthday parties arrive.
7. Insist your child send out thank you notes before they can play with their new toys or use their new gifts. It can be a good incentive and make your child pause and really think about why they have these new gifts.
8. Make sure you teach your kids that thank you notes are necessary. Many people are touched by thank you notes and it’s a small gesture that makes the world a better place.
9. Writing thank you notes provides an opportunity to teach your child that it is often good and right to spend time and effort on giving to other people, without an expectation of receiving anything in return, even thanks.
10. Finally, consider opening the gifts after the party and have your child write a thank you note immediately after opening each gift. This approach can keep your child incredibly motivated to write thank yous. Plus it can help slow down the paper tearing frenzy, get your child to pause, actually notice the gifts and remember who it’s from.
Have additional ideas? I’d love to hear your comments.
Steve Zany, RI Magician Ventriloquist