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Shouldn't Parents Get a Thank You Note?

Posted by Karen10125 (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 25, 13 at 8:39

I'm wondering why I'm even asking this, but times have changed and maybe I expect too much. My stepdaughter got married last summer. We paid for about 1/4 of her wedding costs. And then I decided I still wanted to get a gift so I purchased her whole set of china (since no one had purchased any of it yet). When we gave it to her, she just looked at it and said oh I was wondering who bought that off my registry and walked away. Personally I think she was expecting more. So I figured some time after the wedding we'd get a thank you card for our contribution to her wedding costs and the china. Never got anything. Am I expecting too much? I mean even a verbal thank you would have been nice. Her dad wasn't thanked either. Should we say something to her? It makes me not want to doing anything for her going forward and I hate that feeling.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Shouldn't Parents Get a Thank You Note?

Yes, she should be sending thank you notes to everyone that gave her a gift. Seeing as how the marriage ceremony was last year, she is behind in sending you one. But, she is your step-daughter. How is the relationship between she and your husband? You may want to let him handle it if you don't want to start anything between you and her. He can innocently say "Hey Suzy, we didn't receive your Thank you card yet. Are you still sending the rest out? " Or something to that effect.
Nope manners have not gone out of style yet. Thank you notes are still expected and should be done. NancyLouise


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RE: Shouldn't Parents Get a Thank You Note?

Yes, your step-daughter should have sent a thank you note, though many children don't send them to parents when they do send them to other relatives. My concern is with her response when presented with the china. Her lack of enthusiasm and gratitude tends to indicate that she is self-focused, thinking only about herself and not about the giver and the gift. Has she perhaps been raised without the best of manners or sensitivity toward others?


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RE: Shouldn't Parents Get a Thank You Note?

I don't think she was raised that way, but her mother encourages her bad behavior toward us. Still, she's 31 years old now and should be thinking for herself. I don't get any of it because I have adult children too and I wouldn't allow them to be disrespectful toward their father, in spite of any issues we've had. It's bad parenting. She is very self focused, she never sends a fathers day card, never remembers her dad's b'day (and of course not mine either). I recently started doing the same to her, to make a point. I just feel she's way too old to not have any appreciation or consideration toward us. The relationship between her and her dad is just ok, and that's mainly because of his effort, not hers.


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RE: Shouldn't Parents Get a Thank You Note?

I agree with Sweet Pea. The problem is the lack of enthusiasm and gratitude, not with the absence of a written note.

I am HUGE on thank you notes, and even I don't expect or usually send them within the immediate family. Just seems a little too distancing or something. We just call each other if we don't get the gift in person.

Please don't "do the same to her, to make a point." It makes you seem petty and punishing. You won't make your point, you'll just relinquish the high ground. If you don't want to send her gifts or cards because you feel unappreciated, then don't, but don't do it to try to manipulate her behavior, and don't try to stop your husband from sending things anyway if he wants to.

Of course you are right about her behavior, but it's not for you to try to fix it. Leave it to karma. Likewise, don't be heard to blame her parents -- as you note, she's 31, not 10 -- and in the case of her mom, it will make you seem vindictive.


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one more thing

I just want to add that it's not that I am OPPOSED to immediate relatives sending thank you notes, especially a bridal couple sending them to their parents for the wedding. It's a classy and charming thing to do. If memory serves, ours took the form of a picture postcard from our honeymoon thanking my parents for the wonderful wedding -- not very formal, but enthusiastic and sincere. I just meant that I wouldn't read anything into it if otherwise appropriate expressions of gratitude were expressed otherwise.


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RE: Shouldn't Parents Get a Thank You Note?

If a gift is given in person, it is acceptable to give thanks verbally, especially if the thanks are very effusive (which clearly they were not in this case).
I agree with gellchom, don't think you'll manipulate her into behaving better by "forgetting" her birthday. It probably won't even occur to her that that is what is going on. But, if you feel unappreciated, don't give gifts/cards/whatever, simply because you don't wish to. You are never _compelled_ to give a gift to someone if you don't wish to. That's why it's called a "gift" and not an "obligation".


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RE: Shouldn't Parents Get a Thank You Note?

Our son married last fall. We received a thank you note from him and his wife for our providing the wedding finances a few months after the wedding. However, at the wedding reception, the bride and groom toasted their parents and in that toast thanked both families for helping make the wedding possible.

This situation sounds different. To me, the bride's response to the wedding present was almost a non response, and quite rude. I am sorry you are in this situation as it sounds to me as if you would like to have a great relationship with this young woman. Perhaps she will come around some day, but don't hold your breath.

If I were in your shoes, I too would pass on future gift giving with this attitude. If anyone is going to say something to her, it should be her father and not you. Have you talked with him about this?


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RE: Shouldn't Parents Get a Thank You Note?

Thanks everyone for the help and advice. If I don't give gifts going forward it will be just because I don't feel she deserves it, I'm not trying to change her behavior at all. I know that's up to her considering her age and nothing I do will make a difference in how she behaves. I have left it up to her dad to confront the situation. He has and gets a million excuses. He says she's ungrateful. There was no toast or thanks at the wedding reception either. As for the china, it was one of those times where I felt I nailed the gift idea and then when she turned her nose up at it, it hurt. But like someone else said I'll wait for karma.


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RE: Shouldn't Parents Get a Thank You Note?

Karen, weddings seldom bring out the best in people, especially step children. You are doing too much for them. Don't be surprised when they don't appreciate it. Stop doing anything that requires a thank you. You will feel better about your relationship, and so will they. They resent your gifts, and they resent you. I have much less stress in my life since I stopped doing nice things for my adult step kids.


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