By Melissa Ford
My thoughtful, generous parents gifted each of their five grandchildren a sweet sum of money; it was the equivalent of discovering the Golden Ticket inside a Wonka’s Scrumdidolyumptious Chocolate Bar. Thrilled, and dreaming of self-indulgent ways to spend his gift, my college-age son finally decided it was time to experience a “Spring Break” road trip. (That’s a great subject for another post.)
When I first heard about this windfall, I shifted into parent mode: “Have you texted G’ma and G’pa?” I prodded. (We like to keep it simple in our family.) “Did you call them and send a special card?”
My #1 Rule for Kids Receiving Gifts: YOU MUST SEND A THANK YOU CARD.
My 22-year-old son still adheres to this mandate but that doesn’t necessarily mean the card will be timely. However, it will get written and eventually mailed. Feeling a little antsy about this particular thank you note, I made an offhand remark over the phone, “So, have you mailed that card yet?” I heard a pause and then, “I wrote a card, but I have to tell you, it’s sounds so cheeeeesssssyyyy,” my son declared. “Actually, it’s kind of embarrassing and I don’t know if I should send it.” he muttered.
“Sounds perfect to me,” I cheered him on. “In fact, the more cheese the better. That’s what adults want. Thank you cards that bring tears to your eyes, choke you up, warm your heart. I love cheese!” I laughed, secretly wanting a mushy, gushy note of my own. “If you say so because no matter how I write this card, it’s cheesy,” he reiterated.
Several weeks later, G’ma received his thank you note in person. I watched my son hand her the card, thank her and wrap his arms around her. Ahhh, how good it feels to spread a little cheese, I mean a little love around.
Do you require your kids to send thank you cards or texts or make thank you phone calls? It seems the latest method of “thank you” is via video. How do you encourage your kids to express their gratitude?