We are midway into the Holiday week. The family feasting and gift-giving parts are behind us. Behind us, yes, but those of us who weren't present to see our presents unwrapped by our grown children or grandchildren still want to know that, hey, they liked it, and more importantly that it wasn't lost in the mail. The official thanks might come in the form of a video of the opening of our gift. Or an email. Or a text. Or even an old-fashioned phone call. Whatever it is, it doesn't have to be pen on paper. A thanks is a thanks is a thanks, an issue I've covered here and here and here.
But giving a shout-out of thanks can be a complicated issue. What happens when our children don't thank relatives who have sent them gifts. We may try to get our adult child or grandchild to pen a note--or supply them with a text address. But if that doesn't work, what options do we have?
Meghan Leahy addressed this issue in a Washington Post Parenting Q&A. In an online chat a parent wrote that her young adult daughter had received a generous graduation gift from her uncle but had not written a thank you note. "I have tried to get her to do it and now we are fighting," the parent wrote. "I'm ashamed that she hasn't said thank you. Now she is in her corner, and I am very embarrassed. What's the mature way to handle this?"
Here's Leahy's two-step solution:
I want you to write a generous thank-you note from your whole family, and include some beautiful flowers or a yummy treat, too.
Acknowledge their hurt and how ungracious she appears, and let them know that you are working on it and that it isn't personal. Then move on and drop this with your daughter. Work on your relationship with her by finding ways to connect in any way you can.
photo: Maia Lemov