Teaching your kids the importance of thank you
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Teaching your kids the importance of thank you

Teaching your kid(s) about thank you is so important. I realized that as a child
I was not taught this very simple gesture of gratitude.  The way I was raised
was always a survival mode as we had a, let's say, challenging childhood. Yes,
of course I said thank you when some gave me something, or no thank you, when I
didn't want something, but it wasn't instilled in me. Thank you notes, cards or
a simple phone call to say thank you.  There was no texting or email in the 70s. So the best way to say thank you was with a hand written note.  Simple to do, right? One would think. 
Over the years I have realized that I am terrible at writing or saying thank you and it didn't really hit me until I had my daughter and I would receive thank you notes from friends almost immediately after parties and the like.  When she was born she was showered with gift after gift, I couldn't believe how many people gave gifts to her that we didn't even really know that well, friends of friends or family.  I was overwhelmed with the generosity of so many casual acquaintances.  It was such a wonderful and eye opening event for me.  To this day she still is showered with many gifts.  We make an annual trip to visit my sister in Florida where my sister has a get together "girls" only and her friends shower her with gifts and really nice ones too!  The first year I was so blown away again by the generosity of  people in general.  I had never really experienced this before or I had I never realized it?  Either way, it is truly an amazing thing.  It makes me reflect on my own giving and generosity.  I am learning, even though I thought I was generous, maybe I am not so much, but that is a discussion for another day. 
Yes, I can remember about 15 years ago one of my girl friends gave me a gift. She called me about two weeks later reprimanding me for not sending a thank you note. I was a bit upset, but why? Was it because I was embarrassed that I didn't send a note?  I thought I at least called to thank her, didn't I.... but maybe it slipped my mind. Then I thought, aren't givers just supposed to give and expect nothing in return???  I look back and realize that these thoughts were all because of my own ignorance to the world of gift giving.  Of course, you say or send a thank you.  I read somewhere that you have up to one year to send thank yous and believe me most time I take that full year.  I am not sure if that is good etiquette or not, but I am getting better.  The givers really aren't expecting anything but a simple gesture back....a call, an email or how about this, an old fashioned hand written note.  I sometimes get caught up in the process, the card has to be written a certain way or be creative.  But all people are really looking for is a simple thank you.  To let them know your received the gift, to let them know you appreciate them thinking of you or your child.  It really is just a small gesture back for a much larger thought.  
My daughter and I spent yesterday sending thank yous for the gifts she received from our "girls" party.  She was really into them and wanted to add special pictures and even practice her handwriting and spelling.  The good news is, even though I might not be the best, she is getting it and loves to do it and say think you.  So, at the very least, I think I am achieving my goal of teaching her the proper etiquette in a world where thank yous are getting lost.  As a reflect on this post, I am going to make a mid year resolution and that is to write a handwritten note, email, text or call, to say thank you. I will try to do in a timely manner and not use my year window that may or may not be the proper etiquette in todays world.  Let's not let the thank yous get lost in the constant fast paced world we live in today.  People are still generous and thoughtful.  They haven't forgotten that, so let's not forget to say "Thank you back"!  Make it a thankful day!  All of my best, Dyan
What we learned:  Saying thank you is a simple and very important gesture to express your gratitude, people do wonder if you don't say thank you: if you didn't receive the gift, didn't appreciate the gift or they just want to know if you liked the gift.  People feel good by giving, thank them for letting them know how good it makes you feel.  Being generous is a grand thing to do, it really does make you feel good, and don't get caught up in being recognized for your giving, because that is not what giving is all about.
What we shared:  In writing our thanks yous, my daughter expressed her creativity, coloring, practicing, writing, reading and spelling.  It was a great way for us to spend time together creating.  And she is learning the importance of thank you.

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