Etiquette Corner Thank You Notes

Dear Mrs. Harding: How do I get my children to write thank you notes?

Great question. This generation has been identified as the Entitled Generation. It has been accused of lacking appreciation and a feeling of entitlement - one is owed things because everything is supposed to be fair. Numerous articles and interviews have been done about this trait in the current generation. It is an issue of concern.    

Thank you notes are one way to address this issue. Thank you notes give a person an opportunity to stand out and look good by demonstrating appreciation. If someone purchases a gift for you or makes something for you, they have taken time out of their schedule for you. The least you can do is recognize that effort. A thank you note should take about five minutes at the most to write, seal and address. 

The best way to encourage your children to write thank yous is to tell them they are not allowed to enjoy a gift or gesture until the note is written. The minute a gift is opened, your first words might be “ Wow, what a nice thing to receive and you can play with it just as soon as you get that note written”. Expect some initial resistance, but after several times, they will get it. Your children will begin to automatically think about where to find the note paper - and quickly - so they may indulge in the gift. Thank you notes will become a habit, one carried into adult life.   

Gifts and gestures are wonderful to receive and need to be properly recognized. 

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Colleen Harding

Colleen Harding, the founder of the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol, started her company five years ago to address a niche and a need for protocol training.  She has certifications from the American School of Protocol in traditional etiquette and in corporate training.  Mrs. Harding works with individuals, schools, companies and organizations that recognize the importance of social polish in daily life and the corporate world.

I spent 22 years in the corporate arena as an outside sales representative with 15 years in Broadcast Sales.  I recognize the competitive advantage a person has when they respect etiquette and have received protocol training. 

I am a Bay Village resident.  Graduated from Magnificat High School and The Ohio State University. 

I am an active volunteer for the Westside Catholic Center, St Raphael Women’s Guild and Village Foundation Board Member.

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Volume 1, Issue 2, Posted 7:54 AM, 08.02.2013