Quite a number of grannies are complaining about grandchildren’s lack of manners when it comes to saying thank you for gifts of money. I saw the second or third such article in a magazine recently, with an agony aunt giving advice on how to deal with the problem. Ideas both the grannies and the agony aunt came up with ranged from ‘tell the parents’, ‘write and ask for confirmation of receipt’, ‘pretend to be worried that the money got lost’, to ‘include a return envelope, stamped and addressed’. The advice didn’t actually say anything about just picking up the phone and asking outright. All the grannies seemed embarrassed, as if the bad manners were theirs and not the grandchildren’s.
I don’t understand why a plain ‘thank you’ should have gone out of fashion, but if it has, then there isn’t much the giver can do. We can teach our children to be courteous and well behaved but they will, at some stage, follow their own rules. Once grandchildren have reached teenage and beyond, they are removed further still from our personal sphere of influence.
My advice would be : after a suitable interval ask outright if they were glad to receive the gift. They’ll probably say ‘Yes, Thanks’. That should do to remind them next time. If they ‘forget’ again, grumble at the parents. If that doesn’t help when the next birthday or Christmas present is due, you might as well make up your mind to go without expressed appreciation. You can always tell yourself that they are really very busy but probably love you anyway. And that there is more happiness to be had from giving than receiving. You can also tell your friends, or anyone who will listen, and start sentences with “In my young days . . . .”
On the other hand, if it’s happened too often and it really bothers you, keep the cash and treat yourself instead. That’ll teach ‘em.