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To be very cross that children in my family never say "Thank You" for presents?

(27 Posts)
bojorojo Fri 13-Jan-17 11:57:04

My Mum gave her younger grandchildren (14, 12 and 10) money for Christmas - no thank you letters, phone calls or anything heard from them since. Likewise for me. I put money into their parents' bank account for Christmas presents. No thank you ever received from the children or the parents. I have not idea what they bought. I had to ask if the money had been received. I sent a DAB radio to my niece for her birthday at the beginning of January. No thank you. I had to ask if it had been delivered. It had. They have clearly been brought up not say thank you. However, I am getting heartily sick of it. Any ideas? Do I mention it to my sister or leave it be? She will be cross with me if I do becase she hates her parenting style being questioned. I cannot see how rude children can be a good outcome though!

LightTheLampNotTheRat Fri 13-Jan-17 11:59:11

I'd simply stop giving presents. There's no excuse for not saying thanks - I can't believe anyone thinks that's okay.

ToadsforJustice Fri 13-Jan-17 11:59:30

Don't send them anymore presents.

morningtoncrescent62 Fri 13-Jan-17 12:28:41

YANBU to be cross. I would mention it to your sister so that she has a chance to put it right - it seems a bit harsh that her children won't get presents (or the opportunity to develop a very necessary life skill) because she's for some reason chosen not to bring them up to observe basic courtesies. If it was me, I'd say something about being a bit upset that they hadn't thanked you, and see if it makes any difference.

Also wondering how close a relationship you have with your DNs. If you know them well, could you say something to them directly? I think they're old enough to take some responsibility here. OK, they haven't been brought up by your sister to say thank you, and that explains their behaviour to some extent. But if you're on good terms with them, I can't see the harm in some auntie-ish advice which would be very good for them in the long run.

And then, if talking to your sister and/or DNs doesn't make any difference, stop giving presents. Giving gifts should be a pleasure for you as well as for them.

DailyFail1 Fri 13-Jan-17 12:40:06

No more gifts. They're old enough for a bit of manners & to call you themselves to say thanks.

ShanghaiDiva Fri 13-Jan-17 12:42:44

My brother's children are the same - I stopped sending gifts as they never acknowledged receipt, let alone said thank you.
It's just bloody rude.

BonnesVacances Fri 13-Jan-17 12:49:11

Do they live near you? Perhaps they could come to you and get their presents so they have to say thank you then.

I always make a point of following up by checking that a present has arrived. Maybe you could make it about that. Instead of saying you want a "thank you", you could say to your sister that you would like to be told what they've spent the money on or be told that it has arrived. Maybe the "thank you" will come with that acknowledgment.

TheNewMrsGerardButler Fri 13-Jan-17 12:55:45

YANBU, I find it rude and crass. My uncle and auntie rung my Gran up on boxing day to say she didn't like a set of PJ's because they were short sleeve and asking why they didn't receive £20 in a card like normal shockhmmangry This despite the fact that my Gran put £50 each in her (teenage) granddaughters cards plus gifts...and absolutely no thank you or acknowledgement whatsoever. It's disgusting.

bojorojo Fri 13-Jan-17 13:31:57

No, they do not live near me and I drive to them. They do not drive or own a car so make little effort to see Grandma or us at all, although they are always invited. They are not close and it takes nearly 3 hours to drive there, so visits are about 3 times a year as I do all the driving ,and drive them around when I get there too.

I am also fairly certain that my sister will be angry if I ask for a "thank you". Her children choose what they do, and they choose not to say thank you. My Mum phones them and they rarely return her calls. I feel it has to stop and Mum is upset by it. I text but Mum cannot do that. My sister tells me that her eldest does not like her Grandma and finds her annoying, but where does that come from? I cannot possibly tell my Mum this! My sister should not put up with that, but she does, and uses it as an excuse for her child barely speaking to her Grandma. Everyone else loves our Mum and of course the elderly can be annoying, but you make allowances. My children do and are proud of their grandma being so lively at 92. They do not have to agree with her all the time but they greatly respect her.

I think I do need to say how upset I am. My children are in their 20s and still always say thank you. Good manners costs nothing.

Magzmarsh Fri 13-Jan-17 13:36:37

I stopped sending gifts to my nieces and nephews for this exact reason.

andintothefire Fri 13-Jan-17 13:45:24

I agree that thank you notes (or phone calls) are a basic courtesy. YANBU in that respect and I agree with the above responses.

However, I do slightly wonder about the point that your Mum calls her grandchildren and they rarely return her calls. I think that there may be a slight generation gap issue there. Many 10, 12 and 14 year olds will now use texting or emails more than phone calls. To children of that age, telephone conversations with their grandmother may feel very awkward - they probably don't have much in common and may not want to tell her what they have been up to. In my experience, telephone calls with my grandparents were always very one-sided and quite stressful - lots of questions to me about what I have been doing, whether I had a boyfriend etc, and nothing in return about their lives (understandably because they were elderly so did not do very much). The problem is even more acute if the grandchildren live 3 hours away and therefore do not see their grandmother very often, so probably don't feel very close to her.

I wonder if one way of resolving it might be to suggest to your sister that her children write notecards to their grandmother occasionally. Alternatively, you could suggest to your mother that she writes to them rather than calls? That may elicit more of a response.

There are always lots of people on these threads who think that grandchildren should make a big effort with grandparents. In some families, that is absolutely the case. However, some people simply do not have a close relationship with grandparents - e.g. because of family rifts or because they live so far away that they have never had much of a real life relationship with them. Your sister's children should still make an effort to stay in touch, but I do have some sympathy for them not feeling very comfortable at that age with regular telephone conversations.

bumsexatthebingo Fri 13-Jan-17 14:46:36

I would give presents in person. Surely they would say thank you then? You could also make a big deal of what great manners they have in the hope of encouraging it? And maybe also mention how much your mum loves hearing from them. It would be nice if the children were brought up with manners but surely you get them gifts as a token of your affection for them not solely for the thank you in return? If you do send money could you put a note in the card asking them to let you know what they get with it maybe?

zukiecat Fri 13-Jan-17 15:00:32

I think it's rude not to say thankyou at all

I have an elderly aunt who used to send us money in cheques for birthdays or Christmas, and only a hand written thank you note is acceptable. If we we phoned her to say thankyou she still expected a written note

On the year DD1 was 18, she sent her £5 in a card, DD went out two days later and bought thankyou notelets for everyone, wrote them and posted them all the day after

Aunt was hugely offended because she had not received a thankyou note within two days and she has never sent DD1 or any of the rest of us anything since

We did receive £5 in a Christmas Card this year (2016) but she gave my brother £150 in a cheque

I just sent her a brief thankyou note

Could you phone your sister maybe and just ask if her DC got your gifts, and what did they buy with the money?

CurlyMango Fri 13-Jan-17 16:26:33

I fully agree. It is rude. I stopped with my sisters kids as they never said thank you. I sent my grandma three wrapped parcels. Nothing in response, not an email, call or note. Nothing. It's rude, whomever it's from.

zzzzz Fri 13-Jan-17 16:39:22

Next time you give them a stationary bundle including thankyou notelettes and stamps wink

Waterfeature Fri 13-Jan-17 16:45:48


There are a couple of relatives I give presents to who never, ever say thank you. They've obviously not been taught to by their parents. I don't want to stop giving the presents, so I just put up with it. It's a shame. Maybe the parents weren't taught themselves in my case.

latedecember1963 Fri 13-Jan-17 16:53:48

Zzzz, I like your style! Absolutely no excuse for not sending an age-appropriate thank you. When the lads were little it might be a finger painting or hand print picture & I would add a note. As they got older they would write their own note & I addressed the envelopes. These days they tend to phone or text but may also do a written note for those who they know like a letter. My DM doesn't get much post, so a note means more to her, than to a younger person who is out at work and has more day to day contact with the world.

Pineapplemilkshake Fri 13-Jan-17 17:10:08

DP's family are dreadful for this. One of his brother's children in particular never say thank you, despite the fact that my DS always thanks them. I toyed with the idea of stopping sending presents but I wouldn't as they always send a generous present for DS.

bojorojo Sun 15-Jan-17 01:04:50

Thank you everyone. I used to take the presents for Christmas and give them to my sister for opening on Christmas Day. My sister now wants the money to go into her bank account, so it does. I may stop that but they want to put the money towards a bigger present such as a computer game. I don't actually know if the children realise they have been part funded by relatives.

The phone is a problem and clearly the grandchildren don't want to speak to her. However, their Grandma is 92, lives 3 hours drive away and doesn't text or email. She does not expect to speak to them every week but more than twice a year would be good. She can preach a bit, but if you talk to her, that can be kept to a minimum. My children ignore that side of any conversation or just say she is wrong! Gently! Also, 14 year old wants to be a Doctor. If she can't talk to her Grandma, heaven help any patients she doesn't like.

I have given note paper, envelopes and multi coloured pens etc! Never saw any of it returned with writing on it. I could phone my sister or text. I don't see why I should have to ask though. I never know if anything has been received until I ask. "Did you get the money?" "Did the package from Amazon arrive?" Etc.

My children still write thank you notes after they have received gifts, been to parties and when they have had work experience, been given references etc. When we had my elder child's 21st, I had quite a few thank you notes from her friends and lots of texts. Some young people are well brought up!

bojorojo Sun 15-Jan-17 01:07:31

Just to add: yes we did do thank you notes when we were young. I think that my sister is keen to offload her own upbringing and do it her way. . Unfortunately that appears to be rude and uncaring towards a 92 year old!

babyinthacorner Sun 15-Jan-17 01:19:33

DD has been to about 6 birthday parties and we've only had one thank you. Not even had verbal thanks. I'm a bit gobsmacked, tbh.

emmyrose2000 Sun 15-Jan-17 07:25:35

No forthcoming thank yous = no further presents. Simple.

Does your sister even send your children presents? If not, that's a definite reason on its own not to continue this unappreciated transaction.

If the money goes directly into your sister's bank account, is she even telling the children that you're sending them money/presents or is she keeping all the glory for herself?

thecatsarecrazy Sun 15-Jan-17 09:31:49

My dad used to send his older grandchildren quite a large cheque Christmas and birthday. Never a thankyou or let dad know it arrived. One year my niece lost hers and my brother text dad and said she lost it can she have another. Personally I would have said no but he did. They now get less. My brother not much better he got married and had £1000 as a wedding gift. No personalised letters were sent out as thankyou just a brief text "thanks for money" it was his second marriage and I remember first time him and his first wife moaning that her aunty "only" gave them £500 as a wedding present hmm. I don't know how some peoples minds work

Gatehouse77 Sun 15-Jan-17 09:48:20

I, too, would stop sending gifts and if asked would be honest and upfront for the reasons why. It might be awkward but I would rise above it.

Mine still have to do thank you notes and I will only stop reminding them when they reach 18. It's up to them to choose email, text or note. Personally, I prefer a note but I'm quite old fashioned (it would seem) about manners and courtesy.

Penfold007 Sun 15-Jan-17 10:03:10

I wonder if your sister actually gives the DC the money you send?

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