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Grandchildren Ungrateful for Gifts

Category Family
It can be hurtful to give a gift that it not acknowledged or seemingly appreciated. There are several ways to handle this either directly or indirectly. This is a guide about grandchildren ungrateful for gifts.


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By 1 found this helpful
December 6, 2011

As I can't shop I usually give (fairly large amounts) of money to my children and grandchildren for Christmas. My children usually thank me in some way or another, but not my grandchildren. Some of my grandchildren live 20 minutes away, a few live 2 hours away (their ages range from 10 to 40). The problem is these grandchildren never come to see me, call me on the phone, not even a Christmas card, birthday card, no thank you notes, no school pictures, no acknowledgement of any kind.

I no longer wish to give money to them. My husband says it will cause a lot of family trouble if I don't but I really don't want to give to them anymore. What should I do?

By perplexed

Answer Was this helpful? 1
December 7, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

The money is yours. Sounds like your grands feel entitled to your money, and that your own children do nothing to convince them otherwise. If my parents gave my kids large sums of money, and my kids were not kissing Grandma's hand, and visiting, and calling, I would smack them myself!

Gifts are gifts, just that and that only. They are not income, payments, dues, etc. People today need to learn to be thankful for what they are given.

Best of luck to you, and hope you can figure out what works for you. As to your husband saying that it will cause problems. It very well may, but that is the recipients' fault, not yours.

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December 7, 20110 found this helpful

Ultimately, a gift is a gift and not about what you get back. That's the 1st thing. However, most people and me too, would feel like you do. I like the idea of giving a party and making them come get their gifts. No show - no gift. (I'd try that a year or two and if they don't become more grateful, I'd just stop giving altogether.) And also the idea of donating to a charity in the grandkids names, which will get their attention.

I do want to say one thing about the grandkids not doing as the parents do...expressing thanks. I am very considerate as a gift receiver. I thanked people, even by mail and am very appreciative of anything anyone gives me or does for me and relatively generous myself, and my kids saw that all their lives and while they were little I controlled their responses by making them send thank-you cards, etc... but they DO NOT now, either one, show all that much appreciation or thanks towards anyone nor are they especially generous either.

So in my defense and all other parents with "ingrate" offspring, it's not always the parents fault (Once grown, we can't control them and shouldn't try to)! In general, this current generation of kids is pretty self centered. What I just said about me and my kids, also applies to other people I know...they were thankful, generous and their kids turned out to not be.

My point being on that part is that your grandkids are probably "par for the course" for the current generation, not that that excuses any of them!

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December 7, 20110 found this helpful

Give them a hug and tell them you love them. Everybody wants to be loved. Some just don't know how to show it. If you are not a hugging family, get them started by holding out your arms and tell them to give you a hug.

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December 7, 20110 found this helpful

As long as you understand that giving a gift does not obligate the receiver to anything (besides thanks/acknowledgment), ignore hubby-dear. He means well, but he's unintentionally turning you into a doormat. This year, the grandkids should each get a lovely box of thank you notes (Order them online if you must).

Include the following note: "Previous years, I've given you what I thought you wanted. This year, I'm giving you what I think you need. Love, Grandma."

If you really want to drive the point home, pack the thank yous in an empty iPhone box, or something similar before wrapping them (maybe you can get one on craigslist).

Happy Holidays, Gran!

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December 7, 20110 found this helpful

Someone suggested that she just hold out her arms and give the g'kids a big hug since everyone wants to be loved and some people just don't know how to show it.'s she supposed to hug them since they never come to see her? (And she shouldn't have to go see them; they should be going to see her!)

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December 8, 20110 found this helpful

Stop it! Sounds like your husband may be part of the problem and personally, I wouldn't care if it caused trouble. You teach people how to treat you. I have a Brother and his kids before my Mother passed who wouldn't give my Mother the time of day. They were always borrowing things from her and never returning them, probably pawning them. Sometimes even taking things without asking. They'd ask for money and promise to pay when income tax check comes in or another different reason that never panned out. When she was in the hospital and then in the nursing home before she passed they didn't even come to see her.

Just reading your frustration upsets me. Please don't let them treat you this way. I wouldn't say a word to them, I'd just not send the money. Wonder if they'd call asking where it was? Why give to someone who's not in your life. Doesn't make sense to me. And I wonder what your children, the parents of the ungrateful grandchildren have to say about his.

If you give their parents money, let them give to their own kids as gifts. Your situation hits so close to home that you may can tell how it upsets me.

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December 8, 20110 found this helpful

A gift is a gift with no expectations is a bunch of crap. Nothing wrong with expecting a little love, attention and appreciation for what one does. Those who say that are not being sincere. The ones making that comment don't understand and have not been in your situation.

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December 26, 20120 found this helpful

This situation occurred when my ailing mothers health was going downhill. I made the decision to note everytime a grandchild went to visit her [ in a book] throughout the years. For every visit there was an assigned $ value. When she passed, and they all gathered, the $ gifts were handed out. Some $0, as there was never a visit, and some $ high because those G/C visited and comforted her through her darkest moments.

They made the effort, they sat through the painful process when she was hospitalized, they held her hand and talked to her [which can be a very difficult process]. they were there through her final moments. I will do the same when the time comes.

This process can occur annually for Xmas gifts - it makes the young ones understand the process of lifes journey, to hear the stories of hardship, & sacrifice to know what qualities really matter in the long term, and most importantly appreciate those in their lives before its too late.

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December 7, 20140 found this helpful

All these answers are so great! It helps a lot and has given me ideas to solve my problem!

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April 24, 20160 found this helpful

I would send them a birthday card and Christmas card with nothing in it. Make sure you let them know (in the card) that you love and miss them with all your heart. A simple thank you is not to much to ask. My children (all 5) and all 13 of my grandchildren say thank you for any little thing I give. The grandchildrens ages range from 2-14. If the thank you's stopped, so would any money or gifts. It may only take 1 empty card for you to get a phone call or visit. If the parents or grandchildren get upset about it I would simply say "I never heard a thank you back so I just thought you didn't want it anymore" I bet you start getting some acknowledgment for what you do!

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