Post # 1
I realize that thank you notes are likely a product of one’s parents…. so, I don’t necessarily want to penalize the kids… but, I’m wondering – at what point is a simple “thank you’ appropriate from the child to the gifter? (be it by telephone, in person, or a thank you note).
I find myself a tad annoyed at my brother’s kids (ages: 14, 10, 5) – they live out of state and I always send them gifts. Their b’days all fall within 4 weeks of each other, so between the 3 of them, I spent about $150 (combined) for gifts. This year, I didn’t get any sort of acknowledgement from any of them (sometimes I’ll get a thank you note from my niece or at least a call saying ‘thanks). The same thing happened at Christmas – no thank you for gifts. I don’t expect anything from the younger one – but I do from the older ones.
I don’t want to be the miserly aunt who stops giving gifts because there was no thank you reciprocated… I realize gift giving is meant to be done with no expectations…. but, I guess I don’t really believe that, since I (obviously) desire some sort of ‘hey -thanks for thinking of me’.
Guess this is more vent than anything else…..
Post # 3
@oracle: I don’t have kids, neices, or nephews, but I would say…um, as soon as they can talk!! Haha, but seriously…my mom required us to ALWAYS say thank you–obviously if the gifts were given in person, but at least a phone call if the gift-giver was not there. For birthday parties, graduation parties, and more recently–bridal showers, etc–I wrote hand-written thank you notes. We were taught to be thankful from a VERY early age. I’m with you–I’d be a bit annoyed if perfectly capable children did not so much as call me to say thanks!!
Post # 4
My mom had us writing thank you notes as soon as we could hold a crayon. Okay, so she’d write them, but we scribbled our mark on them. 🙂 I think 5 is plenty old enough to be writing thank yous, or at the bare minimum making a thank you phone call.
Post # 5
One time when I was probably 7 years old my grandparents told my parents I was ungrateful because I never said thank you…it really stuck with me, I thank everyone for everything now!
My parents used to make us sit down and write thank you notes from the time we could write them, and I’m glad they did. We hated it at the time but I definitely learned to appreciate how important it can be. I think at the very least, if you send a gift to a child and aren’t there when they open it, they should call and say thank you.
Post # 6
I help my step-children write thank you cards. I have known my step-daughter since she was two and we have been doing them since then. I hope that, when they are old enough to do them themselves, they’ll take over!!!
Edit: Furthermore, I totally AM the miserly aunt! I only give gifts to the select few of my 20 neices and nephews that say “thank you!”
Post # 7
I never, ever sent a thank you card (except for my h.s. graduation gifts) before I started dating my husband. He had been brought up doing it. I was always encouraged to call.
Post # 8
@MrsDrRose612: @Aure: Agreed. As soon as you can hold that crayon or talk.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2014 - Ontario, Canada ♥ EDD- April 2016
I think ‘thank you’ should start when you can talk haha. I’ve always had to either call (before I could write) or send a thank you card for gifts that were opened when the person giving it wasn’t there to be thanked in person.
Post # 10
I buy my daughter blank note cards and make her draw a picture on the front and at the very least write “thank you” and her name inside. They have gotten more elaborate as she has gotten older. I began this when she was about 2.
Post # 11
Do the parents write thank you cards? If not, that could be the problem. My parents just didn’t force me to do it, and I didn’t know any better when I was 8 or so. It’s something that I realized was important far later than I should have. Honestly, I would encourage you to give the kids nice stationary and hope they get the hint. I’m not sure you could come right out and tell them that they need to start writing the cards, but being an example certainly helps.
Post # 12
My two year old says Thank you. So as soon as they are able to repete what you say. As far as Thank you Notes I would say around 13ish. My family never sent Thank you notes for anything though so I never even knew about them until I got one in my 20s.
Post # 13
As soon as they can hold a pen. Or failing that, finger paints. We used to draw in thank you cards our parents wrote for us from a very young age (I can’t remember when I didn’t). It then went onto writing our names and thank you. When does one start constructing sentences? 8? Thats when one should start writing ones own thank you cards, even if parents have to make them.
Post # 14
As soon as a kid can talk (and say the word thank you, lol), that’s the right time! I’d never let my stepson get away without saying thank you to someone who’s been kind enough to give him a gift! If they’ve sent it, then we call and say thanks, or if it’s face to face, there needs to be a pause from the gift, a thank you and a hug.
From one aunt to another though, I feel your pain 😉
Post # 15
Oh my, just read responses and reread your post.
Not saying thank you at all is just rude. We always had please and thank you instilled very young, so as soon as I could talk, I said it. No excuses. And I’d be reminded/told off if I didn’t say it.
Post # 16
I’m on board with “when they can talk.” I get so frustrated with my brother and sister in law. I send them gifts and… nothing. I finally text her to say “hey, check your mailbox!” and I get back “oh yeah I got a package!” Not anywhere a thanks or even an acknowledgement until I basically asked for it. I just sent her birthday gift and though the tracking said it should be there earlier this week I have no idea if she got it, if she likes it… nothing. Sometimes when I talk to her and she says things like “yeah I got it” I feel like starting with the “and?” “and I love it!” “AND….”
Ok, I had to check tracking. She got it last Friday. I feel you.