Throughout the Bible, we are called to be thankful (Colossians 3:15, 17; Psalm 107:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). However, many times when we teach kids that they should be grateful, we don’t give them concrete ways of expressing their appreciation to their parents and/or leaders. Instead of writing a post about specific things to tell kids, we have created a template that will set them up for success.
In the downloadable letter below, we have created a simple way for children and youth to express their appreciation. The letter consists of 5 basic parts:
1. Parent’s or Leader’s Name
Appreciation should be personal. At the top, have the student hand write the name of the person for whom they are thankful.
2. You have helped me by …
Thankfulness usually begins with our attention to the care and skill that people give to us when they help us. Ask students to share specific things that their parent or leader has done for them.
3. One time you helped me that I will never forget was …
Parents and leaders love to hear the memories they helped create for their kids. Have your kids write done one special time that their leader or parent served them.
4. I am so thankful for your …
To see someone’s service is good. To remember someone’s service is better. To understand someone’s heart behind their service is the best gift of all! Help your students understand the motivations, attitudes, and passions of those who serve them. The easiest way to help them finish this statement is to ask them why their parent or leader would have done the first two things above.
5. Student’s Name
Like the beginning, the letter should close by being personal at the end. Have the kid sign their name as if it was their personal endorsement of this “Thank You.” They need to own their statements and writing their signature gives them a chance to do just that.
Over the years, I have received several letters like the one in the template. These signs of appreciation encouraged me when I was down or when things were difficult. After all this time, I still have many of these mementos in a special box to remind me of the impact I made in lives of my own children as well as my students. Give the parents and/or leaders close to you this special gift of gratitude as we celebrate all of the God’s many blessings in our lives this year.