Every year, I send my adult daughter a check for her birthday and Christmas. She told me she prefers cash to other gifts. But she never, ever acknowledges them or thanks me. This has been going on for years! I only know if she gets them by checking my bank account. I asked her to text me a few years ago. It helped for a while, then she stopped. I’m on a tight budget, so these checks are a sacrifice. And her silence hurts me. Should I stop sending the checks if she can’t be bothered to thank me? Or maybe just send a card? I don’t want to irritate her, but I raised her better than this.CATHERINE
I have always been told when “We give gifts out of love; we should not expect to be thanked.” I appreciated how Galen dug deeper into this question by asking, “Why does this happen?” I agree with his theory “If a parent (or uncle or grandmother) sends a gift, year after year, without any acknowledgment from the recipient, maybe the recipient doesn’t experience it as a gift. Maybe your daughter and the others see these presents as their entitlement, like stock dividends or Social Security checks. The fact that the gifts keep coming, without further action, supports their belief.” I also agree that mom should highlight the voluntary nature of the checks to her adult daughter (And skip the guilt trip about how you raised her.) Tell her you’re glad to make room for gifts in your budget because you love her, but her failure to thank you hurts your feelings. Then ask her to be more thoughtful. If she still can’t, trade the checks for greeting cards.