Teaching manners

Susan - posted on 01/20/2016 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I sent my grandson several presents for Christmas. He is mentally challenged and is speech delayed. I mailed the gifts to my daughter and called her to ask her if she had received the package. She told me that she got the box and that she let my grandson open the package. She was busy putting a brand new kitchen table together. She asked him what was in the box and he said that they were shirts and ran upstairs. I asked her if she saw them and she said, no and she also said she doesn't know where he put them.
I calmly explained to her that the package contained a note as well as a gift from my sister in law. I also hoped that she find the shirts, because they are long sleeve and I enclosed a receipt for her to exchange.
I am upset because I have had two conversations over the phone with her about this and she has never thanked me nor has she found the box with the shirts and present from my sister in law.
I don't know how to approach this problem. She wasn't raised that way. She is 33 and very self centered and hates it when I give her advice. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts about this.
Thanks guys!

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/21/2016

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This is very interesting to me.....You don't give things to people to get things back right? But etiquette tells us we should thank people for their generosity. Here is my story....kind of similiar.

My mom's friend offered her some hand me down cloths from her 12 year old daughter to my 5 year old daughter....big age difference...

Well, my mother was delighted and said "sure I will have my daughter (me) look through them. She would appreciate it a great deal". This women, continued to talk about how she had given her neighbor some cloths within the past year, and STILL has not received a thank you note. Kept going on and on about it making it seem like these cloths were high end and well kept.

My mother proceeded to tell me this over the phone ending with "so we will HAVE to make sure we send a thank you card.

My thought was, you are either going to throw them out, goodwill them, or give them to someone else.....I didn't even ASK for this stuff. I don't even KNOW this women.

So my mom comes over with the bag of cloths and we start sorting through them. They were disgusting. Stained. Holes. Over used. Nasty shoes. Bathings suits. I would have been embarrassed to give these to other people. And she wants a thank you note for ME getting rid of HER trash?

My mother was in shock. She could not believe this women made such a big deal about these cloths, and was totally expecting a really great bag of gently used cloths for the way the women had gone on.

Mind you, I have 2 close friends that have kids closer in age to my daughter, and give me their cloths ALL the time. Really NICE gently used cloths. Some don't fit right now, but will next winter. I say thank you, and they say thanks for taking them. Thats it.

Soooooo.....do I really need to send a thank you card to this lady for her bag of trash of cloths that wouldn't even fit my daughter for 6-7 more years? Hell no.

The point is, don't expect anything in return. See, I am the bitch on the receiving end right now. Should your daughter have thanked you? Sure. Should you be keeping tabs on whether she does? Nope.

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Susan - posted on 01/21/2016

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That is a funny story. You still haven't written a thank you card! Shame! LOL.....I am just joking......what nerve. That is tacky, very tacky.

No, I don't give just for hoping I get something in return. I wasn't brought up that way.
A simple acknowledgement, ....it doesn't have to be a thank you card, just a simple
acknowledgement that it was appreciated. As I write this, over three weeks later, she
still hasn't seen the clothes or dvd that my sister-in-law gave to her.
We are talking, laughing, great conversations,...but still no word on the clothes.
And I am keeping my mouth shut!

Dove - posted on 01/21/2016

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Let it go.... or keep pressing the issue and push her further away.

She is 33... too old to parent now. If you want peace you can either love and accept her the way that she is (and not hinge giving gifts off of what YOU get out of it... but simply because you love her and want her to have something)... or set limits and run the risk of alienating her further.

Susan - posted on 01/21/2016

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Thank you for sharing your perspective on this matter. We have had many discussions about her behavior, not just about this one in particular, but on so many issues, that she has blocked me on her fb and blocked me from receiving text messages. I try to tell her how I feel, but she ALWAYS hangs up on me. I want her to just listen, as I listen to her. She always has an excuse. I have sent out letters and may send another, I don't know. I am so tired of all the drama. I just want peace. We rarely see each other, even though we are only three hours apart. I have discontinued sending her presents of any kind because she doesn't acknowledge them from me either, but I agree with you, and that is, as long as I am living, I want to do what I can for my grandson. I just wish his mother, (who was writing thank you cards with my help since she was three yrs old), could use this opportunity and see this as a "teachable moment". Thank you for your advice. I appreciate it very much!

Andrea - posted on 01/20/2016

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Hi Susan, I can barely get a card out in the mail in time for a birthday or holiday, much less pack a gift, write a note, include an exchange receipt, AND a gift from someone else as well! You took the time to do it so perfectly. I'm sure you are hurt and disappointed.

Sounds like she has her hands full. She has a child with a challenge, she's constructing kitchen tables, and answering phone calls!

I don't think you are going to get anywhere by calling her to talk about this again on the phone. However, it does need be talked about, you must express your feelings to her. I would consider writing her a letter instead of talking on the phone. You can think about exactly how you want to say it ahead of time and she can't get defensive or interrupt you. Tell her how much she and your grandson are loved by you, and explain that you are hurt by her lack of acknowledgement and appreciation for the gift you sent.

Maybe she will call you about it. If not, just realize that any future gifts you send, may be regarded in the same way. If you are willing to send a gift without getting any thank you in return and you are ok with that, then by all means, continue.
If not, and you have hard feelings because you didn't receive a thank you, then don't send any more gifts.

For me, I can only do what is in my heart. I do what I WANT TO DO! I want to send my nephews gifts for the holidays and I could care less if they call me to thank me. I know they got it, they know its from me, that's really all i care about.

Neither is right or wrong, just different perspectives.

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