Is writing thank you cards or notes a lost art? Does anyone still do that?

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.  ~G.B. Stern

My older son’s birthday was last month; he had a party and received gifts from family and friends. Before the birthday weekend was over, I reminded him that he’d be writing thank you cards and notes for each gift he received. “I know.” But he didn’t say that or write the cards begrudgingly; he’s been taught that it’s what we do. I always have my kids write thank you notes for gifts on birthdays, holidays, etc. They’re 7 and 10 – they’ve been doing it since they could write their names. It’s never too early to start.

But here’s the thing. They’ve been to a lot of birthday parties over the last couple of years, and I can honestly say that I cannot recall receiving thank you cards from any of the kids we bought gifts for within the last year or two.

What’s my point? This bit of etiquette gets instilled early on in life, by our parents. I wrote previously about raising the customer experience leaders of tomorrow. It starts today; it starts when they are young, before they even know a thing about customer experience. But I think parents are no longer teaching their kids the importance of gratitude, thank yous, appreciation – whatever you want to call it. How can kids who never learned the importance of saying “thank you” ever develop a culture of appreciation years from now, when they’re running their own businesses… or running yours?

 “What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it – would you be likely to give them another? Life is the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have.” –Ralph Marston