Correspondence-Part II Children
April 25, 2012, 8:29 AM
Filed under: etiquette, Life style

Ever wish you got something other than bills in the mail?  Years ago before the telephone became a permanent attachment to our bodies, people wrote letters.  Letters were written for every occasion and it was considered part of good upbringing and social graces.  A letter was written for introductions, visiting cards, invitations, social correspondences, and special occasions like weddings and showers.  I will go over some example of each, but today I’ll focus on children.

A party offers much opportunity for training a child in the beauties of hospitality.  While girls are easier to train than boys, if mom can get the child to see the idea of a “square deal” (if you behave nicely you can expect to receive the same treatment in return), it will be easier to accomplish.  Your children will grow up to be kinder and more considerate of others if you teach them how to be that way when they’re young. You can do that by setting a good example. You must always say “please” and “thank you” to your kids. Even when you are saying, “Please get your bicycle off my foot,” or “Thank you for the dead slug.”

Be a good role model. “Do as I say, but not as I do” is a joke. Your kids probably want to respond with, “Yeah, like you’d catch me playing bridge with a bunch of 50-year-old women!” When you want your child to show good manners and respect, you must also practice good manners and respect. Say please and thank you, admit your mistakes, apologize, and treat people, in general, with kindness and respect. The reward of this behavior is that your children will grow up having many friends and a family that loves being around her.

If mom (or dad) can make it seem like a game to keep each guest happy, they will prove successful.  Show them the way. Children do whatever they have to do to express themselves. Sometimes that comes off looking and sounding pretty bad. Playing a role reversal game with your child can help show them how to handle situations. Let them ask the question or behave a certain way, and you respond by showing them how their behavior should appear.

  • Be kind to others. Telling kids, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” doesn’t really mean anything to them. Instead, stress the importance of treating others the same way they’d like to be treated, especially when you see them doing something that you know they themselves don’t like. For example, if your son hates to be interrupted and yet he interrupts people, then remind him, “Jonah, you really don’t like it when people interrupt you, so please don’t do that to Jeremiah.”
  • Understand their actions. Help your children understand the harm they can cause by doing or saying thoughtless and unkind things. Ask them, “How would you feel if someone pointed at you, and started to laugh?” In the beginning, you may simply be doing damage control, but eventually you’ll be helping them to avoid harmful words or actions.
  • Share. Share with your children so they understand the importance of sharing with others. Compliment them when you see them sharing with others.
  • Keep kids healthy. Children tend to behave badly when they’re tired or hungry. Kids need sleep and nutritious foods to survive. It’s that simple.
  • Practice family politeness. Everyone in the family must practice “please” and “thank-you” policy in which, for example, no request is considered unless the person asking says “please.” When one of your children forgets, just give him or her a look that says, “I’m waiting.” They soon catch on. Use the same approach for saying “thank you.”
  • Praise good behavior. Praise is a wonderful teacher. Tell your children how proud you are when you notice them being polite and following the “please” and “thank-you” guidelines that you’ve set


  •  Invitations. The mother may write a few lines, but she retains the specialness of the invitation if she asks the child what to say.  Invitations for children should always be definite as to the hours of the affair that the parents may know may know when to send for them.

Example:    Dear Betty,

Will you come to a dance on Friday April the third, from four to six o’clock?

Lovingly yours,


Response:      Dear Rosy,

Thank you asking me to your dance on Friday, April the third, from four to six o’clock.

I will come with much pleasure.

Affectionately yours,


      Invitations for outings of a longer duration.

                                Dear Barbie,

Will your mother allow you to come to our vacation house at Woodhaven for a few days?  My mother wishes me to say to your mother that she will take care of you in every way.

If you come on the train leaving at___ on Friday the second, we will meet you at the station and Dad will take you into town on the train arriving at___ on Monday morning.  I do hope you can come.




Dear Margery,

Mom saya that I may accept your kind invitation so I will arrive at ____ station on the ____ train on Friday.  I am so happy to be with you  and know it will be enjoyable.

Lovingly yours,


  • Thank-you notes. Teach your children the importance of thanking people for gifts. Show them how to write notes and make sure that they are sent promptly after receiving gifts.  examples:

Dearest Grandma,

Thank you s thousand times for the lovely Christmas dolly you asked Santa to bring me.  She is the sweetest dolly and I tell her how much I love you.   We had a delightful Christmas and we all send you much love.

Your loving little girl,

Barbie Fuller

  • Apology notes

If a child has destroyed anything, a few lines written in apology will make the desired impression.  If there has been rudeness to a teacher or older person a note of regret will cause more courtesy another time.

  •     “I am very sorry that I was careless and broke your pretty vase.  I will truly try to be more careful.
  •    Dear Miss Greene,

I am very sorry I was rude today and hope you will excuse me.  I will try to be more

polite every day in every way.

Yours sincerely,

John Bolter, Jr.

Practicing these simple courtseys will not only ensure future invitations but will equip your child with the social graces to ensure their future success in life and business.  It can also help in the short run making day-to-day life more pleasant.






1 Comment so far
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Great post on parenting! 😉

Comment by Malou

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