Ask Ms. Magnolia
Letters have been edited for length and clarity.
Dear Ms. Magnolia, As soon as we could hold a pencil, my mother had my brother and me write thank you notes for birthday and Christmas presents to our relatives. Although it seems out of date to do that now, I really think it shows a bit of class still and that people still have good manners. How can I teach my children who are just beginning to learn to write how to write thank you notes? Young Mom
Dear Young Mom, Sending a personal handwritten thank you note is still a sign of good upbringing. Like many grandmothers, I still treasure the one-sentence thank you notes scrawled in pencil from my children and grandchildren.
For the very young, it is easy. Just teach them to begin “Dear Grandma” (or aunt or whatever), write one or two sentences saying “Thank you for” (and naming the gift). Then completing with “I love you” and their name. As they get older, they should add a few words about how they will use the gift or what it means to them.
Then you can teach them that it doesn’t have to be a special occasion to send a thank you note. Sometimes they may just want to let someone know that they remember a kindness. They may send a note thanking a friend for encour- agement during a dif. cult time. Kind
words are always appreciated.
Getting into the habit of writing notes now will make it easier for them as they grow up to write appropriate notes after being a houseguest or after a job interview.
If you have a question for Ms. Magnolia, please mail it to P.O. Box 669, Vidalia, GA 30475, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.