Should Grandparents Expect thank you Notes from Grandchildren

Children usually need prompting from an early age to tell someone, “Thank you”. If parents reinforce this small, but necessary point of etiquette as children receive gifts or assistance from others, children should be able to remember to do this on their own by the age of eight. When a gift is given in person to the child recipient, a verbal thank you should be enough. If the gift is shipped or sent by another person, a parent should assist the child in calling the gift-giver to say thank you or by writing a short thank you note. When this is done on a regular basis, by the time a child is ten years-old, he or she should remember to make the phone calls or send the cards. However, it is a parent’s responsibility to provide thank you cards or writing paper and stamps. Parents should also make sure the child has accomplished this task and not assume it will get done without reminders.

It is never okay for a child to ignore thanking someone for a gift, including grandparents. Even if a grandparent insists that no thank you is necessary, the child should do the proper thing and say thank you in a meaningful way. When children ignore the most basic of etiquette rules, they become adults who are classified as rude, selfish, or ungrateful. Proper etiquette is needed in all facets of life, especially at work and in new relationships. When a child is taught early about treating others with respect, he is much more likely to become an adult who appreciates sacrifices made on his behalf.

Once a child is around twelve years-old, she should not need reminders to send thank you notes to her grandparents or other relatives for gifts sent to her. Children mature at different ages, so a parent should determine if further reminders are needed. If a grandparent does not receive a phone call or written note of thanks, the grandparents should consider suspending gift-giving. Grandparents should always explain why no further gifts will be sent, insuring the child knows which behavior needs improving. Of course, this should be done in a loving, teaching manner, without bitterness or said in anger. After all, the purpose of a gift is to show love and care.

Good habits are begun early in life and remain an intricate part of a person’s life. Good manners serve to promote people in their careers, casual relationships, family relationships, and in marriage. Each of us expects respect from the people we love and interact with most. This helps all of us to grow as people that others enjoy spending time with.

Not all parents recognize the need to teach good manners to their children. Grandparents can be important role models for their grandchildren in teaching manners. Children will be better received by teachers, classmates, and friends whenever they practice the art of giving thanks for gifts, services, and favors. Expectations are necessary for children to strive to do their best in all things.