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Ask Rene: What Should I Do About Greedy Graduates?

GraduationAsk Rene:
What Should I Do About
Greedy Graduates? 

Dear Rene,

This is the time of year I’ve come to dread–graduation. I used to enjoy sharing this occasion with my many nieces and nephews. I would send a monetary gift for all graduations, from preschool to college and a few beyond that. I say “used to” because I have received very few “thank you’s ” If I didn’t send a check, I’d have no way of knowing whether they got the money or not. I don’t know what’s so hard about mailing a “thank you” card, sending an email, or calling; at this point, I’ll take my thanks through Facebook!

My enjoyment of this personal tradition is diminished because it feels like my nieces and nephews don’t care enough to acknowledge the gift.

Should I let them know that I would appreciate a note or word of thanks? Or should I rethink giving these gifts?


Disappointed Auntie in Alabama

Dear Disappointed:

I understand how you feel; remember when it was just common courtesy and good manners to say thank you for a gift, no matter the occasion? Nowadays (and I feel incredibly old for saying that) there just doesn’t seem to be the same emphasis put on things like that. Having said that , here’s what I would do if I were in your shoes.

1. Something Is Better Than Nothing

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I did the Today Show recently as part of a regular, parenting segment and the topic of thank you cards came up. It was a panel discussion and I said I thought sending a text was okay as a way of showing appreciation. A few parents called me out on Twitter but my point was (and apparently not conveyed very well) was that something was better than nothing. A thank you card or call would be great but I also think that it's okay to let people know you care using modern means of communication.

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