Tag Archives: hand-written notes

“Jaw With John” – Son Has Something Brown On His Nose

Before winter break, my 12-year-old son wanted to do something nice for his teachers during the “time of giving,” and he baked cookies that he made from scratch (sweet!). He created decorative bags, handmade name tags and had them placed in his teachers’ mailbox area.

I was amazed that only one out of the eight wrote him a thank-you note. I have taught my children that receipt of a gift from someone always deserves a handwritten thank-you. It takes but four sentences, can be written in six minutes (or less) and speaks volumes of appreciation for someone’s thoughtfulness, time and generosity.

He was touched by the one teacher’s kindness. This incident made me notice that we are becoming a very wanting but truly thankless society, and I find it sad. I was assuming teachers would set a better example. Am I old-fashioned? — Thankful

Dear Thankful:

Two words come to mind when I read this: Brown Nose. Is it nice and thoughtful? You bet your sweet ass it is. But it also comes off as someone who is being overly nice to his teachers and trying to gain favor. That’s how I would view it as if I were in his grade. Hell, it’s how I view it as an adult!

Maybe one of the teachers is allergic to one of the ingredients in the cookie. Or didn’t know what was in it and decided to not take the chance. Maybe they are gluten intolerant, and not the fake kind where they are “just trying it out to see how [their] body feels”. There are numerous external factors here that could contribute to them not writing back. But it all comes back to your son trying too hard to be nice and coming off looking like a Teacher’s Pet.

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“Jaw With John” – Write or Die

For my whole life, my mother has instilled in me the importance of handwritten thank-you notes. Suddenly she is saying it’s OK to email thank-yous to some people.

I’m very confused! What is the best etiquette for me and my children regarding thank-yous?

— Thanking You, Too!

Dear Thanking:

The art of the hand-written thank-you is dying. It is still the considered the “best etiquette” to send a hand-written note or card but kids these days want things done and they want them done now. In certain situations the quick e-mail or text is appropriate and in others, the personal note is more appropriate. It really goes by a case-by-case basis. Gift from grandma – write a note. Flowers from your significant other – text them a photo with you and the flowers. Use your best judgement.

If anything, make your kids write notes to work on their penmanship! Lord knows that with the technological take over, handwriting is starting to all look like chicken scratch. Trust me, I’ve seen some shitty shitty handwriting from adults and young adults. Then they comment on my handwriting and how good it looks and I look at it and go “This? Really? This is OK.” The standard is quite low now. Which means the only place to go is up!

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