We have sent our 16-year-old granddaughter money and gifts for years but never got a thank-you. No text, phone call or email – nothing. Our son says it’s the teenage years. We know all about that, but don’t think it’s an excuse for bad manners. This has gone on for a few years now and it is getting the better of us. I hope you can help.
Concerned Nana, Lower Hutt
Dear Concerned Nana,
This is a big problem, I know. We are now onto our fifth teenager and it can be a hassle reminding them to ring and thank relatives who give them gifts, but as I say to them, at least they don’t have to write a letter like I did when I was a teenager. I think this is your son’s problem, not your granddaughter’s. He obviously doesn’t place much importance on teaching children to respect their elders, and it’s a cop-out blaming it on her age. So don’t blame her. She is just a product of her upbringing, not the cause of this behaviour. I would suggest that you simply send cards from now on, and maybe slip in a few dollars if you can afford it, but only if you are happy not to expect any thanks. You might reason that it’s just a nice thing to do and leave it at that. If you are going to get upset, then don’t send anything – her behaviour is not going to change and, unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about it.
Send your questions to email@example.com or write to Agony Aunt, NZWW, PO Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142.