Holidays, thank-you notes and life skills

How teaching youth about the importance of thank-you notes can develop life skills for success in adulthood.

The holiday season is a great time for youth and adults to show gratitude for presents received or time spent with family and friends. During this time of year, it is also a great opportunity for creating teachable moments for youth that help them develop life skills that will last a lifetime.

A few life skills come to mind when we are thanking our friends and families. Sending a thank-you note is a great way to nurture relationships. Nurturing relationships is important at a young age as well as when someone is older. Relationships help us develop a network of friends we can turn to in different situations. It could be looking for a job or just a friend to talk with. Sending a quick thank-you note helps build a relationship and provides you the opportunity to express your appreciation for that person or gift.

Concern for others is also a life skill that expresses your caring nature to someone. It is important to take time out of our busy schedule and acknowledge the gift or gestures that took place. Sending a quick note shows you care about them. During the holiday season, there are many opportunities for youth and adults to share that concern for others.

Thank-you notes can come in many different ways, but the more personal they are, the more impact they will make. A hand-written note is most appreciated. With technology, an email or text are also ways to send a quick thank you.

Michigan State University Extension has a great guide to the perfect thank-you note.

To learn more about 4-H and life skill development, visit your local MSU Extension office

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