NZ Woman's Weekly

When granddaughter has no manners

Dear Wendyl,
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 or write to Agony Aunt, NZWW, PO Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142.

Issue 1541

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