I saw the following Advice Column letter from Annie's Mailbox in the Honolulu Advertiser yesterday morning.
Dear Annie: We have six grandchildren and talk, e-mail and text often with four of them. They always thank us for the gifts we send for birthdays and holidays.
The same, however, is not true for the other two, who live out of state. They are both teenagers and quite capable of acknowledging gifts, but they don't. When we ask the parents if the children received their gifts, the answer usually is, "I think so, but I'm not sure."
Our children were raised to be properly grateful, but for some reason, our son doesn't feel his children need to follow rules of any sort.
We sent money to the kids for Christmas and never heard a word. I sent an e-mail to their mother asking if they got their cards, but she didn't reply. Our son believes it's up to the kids to say thank you and if they don't, we should accept it. He says we are expecting too much.
My first instinct is not to give them anything for birthdays and holidays this year. I wonder if they'd even notice. We are both retired and live on a fixed income. Should I stop sending gifts? Should I donate their share of birthday and holiday presents to the needy who would appreciate them? — Very Disappointed Grandmother
Dear Grandmother: Your son and his wife apparently don't believe their children should be responsible for even the most basic courtesy. Use this as an opportunity to educate these misguided grandchildren. Send each an e-mail and explain why you expect some type of acknowledgment for any gift, and that if they don't thank you, you will assume they no longer want your presents. If you wish instead to make a donation to charity in their names, by all means, do so.
I've seen these kinds of letters in advice columns many, many times. Are we becoming a society who more and more don't take the time to acknowledge kindnesses?
My daughter, Tiffany not only writes (and sometimes designs her own) thank you notes, but has my granddaughter add her signature scrawl or even message scrawl to teach KC the importance of showing her appreciation and gratitude.
We in turn have used Skype to show KC that we received her card and loved it. We let her know how much we love getting that acknowledgement from her.
Now then... about Annie's Mailbox letter. Art and I were talking about it this morning and would add a little more to that response.
We would also tell the children that since we'd not received any acknowledgements, we would be assuming that the gifts do not mean much to them. Therefore, it will make them happy to know that we would be sending their future gifts as a donation to a charity in their name where it would help somebody in need and be much appreciated.
OK... I'm getting off my soapbox now.... again.
Postscript: After reading everybody's great comments I would like to amend what I said in this post. I think this person should definitely continue to send loving cards and letters to her two grandchildren because you want to maintain a good relationship with those kids.