What percentage of grandchildren say “thank you?”
I’ve taken a small survey and discovered that today’s child fails to understand this simple concept of gracious behavior.
Has our culture changed? I don’t know that much about it because I never received any gifts from my grandparents who were on very limited incomes. I don’t even recall a birthday card or a letter from four people who surely loved me, but failed to express it. Maybe when there are so many grandchildren one can get lost in the crowd. I admit that I was shy and one of the youngest which made it easier to be ignored. I never noticed, but now that I have grandchildren the question arises.
My children always mailed thank you cards, not because they wanted to or because they realized the social responsibilities involved. No, it was because I threatened capital punishment if they failed to do it.
Is it possible they hated writing thank you cards so much that they are liberating their children from the torture of writing a few words and signing their name? Maybe my children’s generation enjoy seeing more stuff come into the home without feeling any need for a simple thank you.
Or maybe the real reason is that children today don’t know how to sign their names. With schools no longer teaching hand writing it is possible that students are ignorant of this fundamental element of culture. They might even feel unqualified or inferior as they mature without the ability to identify themselves as productive members of our 21st century society.
Without the ability to write cursively one has to be challenged when developing a personalized signature. I will admit that my cursive was so illegible that I gave it up during college and began printing only. I even print my signature, so it is possible. I remember a Captain lecturing me about my signature when I was in the army. I nodded my acceptance of his orders, saluted as I left and then continued to sign my name the way I wanted, and continue to this day.
I guess the cursive angle might not be the real reason as I realize there have been no texting thank yous coming my way. Well, now that I’m thinking about it, I did receive one earlier this year and it made my day and I was so excited that I thank you’d the thank you.
Just last week we received a thank you from the parent. It seems the grandchild told the parent to say thank you to the grandparent. I admit the efficiency of the arrangement of having a personal secretary and I wish I’d thought of that when I was young and received gifts from various non-grandparent relatives.
So, life will go on, and my gifts will continue unchanged as my love for these little ones pours forth in their direction. But the feelings of disappointment refuse to be stifled as the connection with these precious souls remains partially unfulfilled.