In the age of technology, the handwritten word has almost become a thing of the past. It seems easier to type a quick, "Thanks!", then to sit down and write a thoughtful thank you note with your own hand. If, as parents, we aren't mindful of expressing our thanks in a personal way, then our children may grow up thinking that they don't need to take the time to tell others that they are appreciated. If you want to encourage thankful kids, sit down together and write a thank you note. Besides teaching them social skills, this exercise will show them the importance of reading and writing, as well as allow them to practice their literacy skills. To spark their interest in writing their own thank you note, allow the child to choose their own paper and envelopes. There is wonderful, high quality children's stationary available to choose from at Amy Adele. Allowing your child to choose their own gives them ownership over the process of expressing thankfulness. Start, perhaps, by reading them a thank you note that you have written yourself or one that you have received from another person. It will give them an understanding of what a thank you note is all about. Then, speak with the child about to whom they are writing and why. Allow them to talk through how it feels when they say thank you to others and when others say thank you to them. Let the child dictate to you what they would like to say and support them in writing it down without edits from you. This will let them know that their words and ideas are important. If the child is too young to write on their own, you may write down, word for word, what they say, and they can add a picture or whatever else they like. Help the child address the envelope, take them to the post office, and let them drop it in the mailbox themselves. The entire process of writing a thank you note should be led by the child from beginning to end. Cultivating thankfulness in children is one of the most important things we can do as parents and this exercise is one small way to show them the power of a few thoughtful words.