I Beg of You! Teach Children to Write Thank You Cards

I received three Thank You cards recently and they made me smile. Three of A.J.’s classmates (including a set of twins)  sat down with a pen and paper to write him a thank you card for their birthday gifts. In the third case, a blogging buddy Arelis at My Pocket Full of Thoughts,  (who’d I’d never met in real life) sent me a handwritten thank you card in the voice of her newborn son to thank me for the Target gift card I’d sent.

I was delighted that they’d received and recognized the thought that went into celebrating them.

But is also made me think of the dozens of gifts I’d purchased for classmates and friends who NEVER acknowledged they received them. Am I the only one who’s annoyed by this?

Don’t get me wrong. You shouldn’t give in –  order to get a thank you. It just seems like basic etiquette has been lost by parents and by the children they’re raising.

How to Teach Children to Write Thank You Cards

  • Make gratitude immediate. As soon as you get home from your birthday party, event or baby shower, write your Thank You cards.
  • I’m old school. Thank You cards should me mailed or hand-delivered. A mass e-card of thanks, is NOT ACCEPTABLE.
  • Use thank you note writing as a lesson in penmanship. Your child’s teacher will thank YOU!
  • Order or decorate your Thank You cards. Christmas is coming and then A.J.’s birthday is three months later. So I’m ordered him personalized thank you cards from Tiny Prints



A.J. & Arielle
Thank you’s and gratitude are a constant lesson in our home as well. A.J. is 5 years old and has already visited Disney World three times. He thinks it’s normal to hop on a plane to visit family. For many of us, it is. But for children just a few miles away from our home in Atlanta, there are homeless children and disadvantaged families. I recently covered an event by the Atlanta Women’s Foundation highlighting how 80,000 little girls wake up in poverty every day in Atlanta.


Vern & A.J. at WDW

A.J. Minnie Mouse


We do our best to teach him to be grateful, appreciate his blessings and the importance of giving to people who don’t have food and other items.

This weekend, our church is asking members and visitors to bring food to donate to food banks.

Teach Children to Write Thank You Cards

Comment below: How do you teach gratitude to your children? Do you write Thank You cards for gifts?

One of the things A.J. is diligent about is saving money. He’s been hoarding saving his weekly allowance for the last year so he can buy his own car when he’s 16 years old.

Four Year Old Allowance

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    I am a stickler on thank you cards. My oldest knows cursive, so he writes his properly.

  2. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    We’ve been having our kids write thank you cards since they were old enough to write. It’s a dying thing, but it needs to be brought back.


    Love this post! I am old school too and believe in teaching children to hand write thank you cards. Love the Disney pics!

  4. The first Christmas after we adopted our girls I made them write thank you notes. They had only lived in America for 6 months so their English wasn’t great, but I wrote them a basic template for them to copy. When they came down with their cards, my one daughter brought down for “Ben and Lauren”. I didn’t know of anyone named Ben and Lauren who had sent gifts. After asking a lot of questions, I figured out that the thank you card was meant for Uncle Bill and Aunt Diane. When I asked her to rewrite it, she said “I no need to…I call them Ben and Lauren.” To this day, we jokingly call Aunt Diane and Uncle Bill Ben and Lauren because of that.

  5. I think having the kids send thank you cards is a great idea. I always had my kids do this when they received gifts from family.

  6. I am what I call a Manners Nazi so thank you cards are an absolute necessity in our family. It was the way I was raised and the way I am raising my children. A little polite gratitude goes a long way!

  7. I don’t think enough people write thank you cards anymore. With so much technology used, people don’t take the time!

  8. Teaching kids to write thank you cards is very important. It allows children to be thankful and to express that thankfulness too.

  9. Chrystal | Nevermore Lane

    I am a big fan of handwritten cards. I think the Internet has stolen a lot from us and makes life much less personal. I wish we could change that.

  10. A.J. is so cute and getting so big. He will have an awesome car when he is 16.

    When I join the ranks of motherhood I will have my kid write thank you notes.

  11. We have had our girls either draw or write a thank you to friends and family ever since they were little.

  12. This is such a great reminder. I always have the best intentions and even go out and buy thank you cards for my kids to write but life gets so busy. I need to make it something important so my kids don’t ever forget to be thankful for the things they have.

  13. I love this! I feel like the art of handwritten notes has gone out the window!

  14. I completely agree with you. I think it’s a lost art these days. Kids really need this

  15. YES!!!!! I am so about thank you cards, it’s polite, and I am surprised by how many adults don’t send thank you cards and how their children aren’t being taught which is sad, because it’s such a great way to express thanks in a fast paced day in age. Thank you for writing this post, I’m going to do a post round-up and include this.

  16. This is such a lost art that our kids may not even know about. When I was a kid, this was a must do in my home.

  17. Toni | BoulderLocavore

    My kids do write thank you notes. Now with some closer friends or relatives they also may email but there is always a thank you acknowledgement that goes out. It’s a dying art I’m sorry to say.

  18. I always make my children write and before they could, draw out, thank you cards. It’s a personalized way and respectful way to give thanks for good fortune and others thinking of you.

  19. I agree that people should write thank you notes. I find not too many people write them at all anymore and it is something important to teach our kids. The art of saying thank you.

  20. My favorite thank you card recently has a series of scribbles in a rainbow of colors. I appreciated that her mom asked her to sit down and make something special to show appreciation.

  21. My DIL always does a great job of writing thank you cards. I appreciate them.

  22. I do agree with you on this. I always have my children and grandchildren send thankyou notes and cards.

  23. Writing is definitely a lost art form. We’ve been getting better at having the kids write notes and sending cards to the grandparents. I think it affects them most.