Thursday, August 21

Pass It On

If you are a letter writer, make sure you pass on your passion to your kids.

If you are not a letter writer, perhaps you should consider becoming one so you can pass this passion on to your kids!

The key to teaching kids to love to write a note is to start when they are young. As I wrote Grandma and Grandpa to thank them for the gifts they gave my kids, I made sure my kids were aware of my efforts. I had them pick the card and envelope. I encouraged them to decorate the back side of the envelope or draw a picture of the gift they were thankful for.

I let them lick and apply the stamps (now you can personalize the stamps if you are as organized as Martha Stewart...otherwise, just get a stamp on the envelope!). They could lick the return address label as well.

I always got excited to receive a letter. I pointed out the difference between the bills I received and the personal letters that came every so often! I tried to make a big deal out of receiving a note so my kids would realize what others might feel receiving something from them in the mail.

As my kids got older, I would have them tell me what they wanted to say to Grandma or Aunties or whoever we were thanking. I would write down exactly what they told me to and then have them sign the note however they could.

When they were old enough to write a line or two, I had to resist making any correction of grammer or spelling for fear that I would squelch their enthusiasm for getting their words on paper.

By the time my kids could write a thank you note on their own, I had to impose a rule that they could not use the gift given to them until a note was sent. They knew by then that meant they had to get a card, write it out, find a stamp and address label and then they would give it to me to put the name and address of the recipient on the front of the envelope.

Teaching kids the joy of sending and receiving real live mail is an on-going process, but well- worth the effort. Stick with it and perhaps you will be the recipient of notes you will treasure in years to come.

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