, 2014


Because You Are Polite…Let’s Talk Manners

by Ginger Philbrick

I was raised to always say “please” and “thank you.” I don’t remember being taught this because it was learned in the home from a very young age. My children and grandchildren have all learned the lesson well. It’s other young people who don’t acknowledge gifts. I don’t feel like it’s my place to teach this important lesson. This lack of basic manners irritates me to the extent that I’ve ceased giving these two children gifts. Is my solution the proper response? Sarah, Kilmarnock

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Ginger Philbrick
Dear Sarah,

You certainly have no responsibility to continue sending gifts. We may not always deserve the gift we receive, but its sender always deserves a thank-you.

That thank-you should be said in person if the giver is there when we open it. If she is not there, a thank-you note is a must for any polite person.

Those of us who are related to seemingly ungrateful youth have an excellent opportunity to teach a lesson. Should you choose this assignment, include a note similar to the following in the next gift sent:

“Dear ________, It is my pleasure to send you gifts, because I love you. I always hope that what I send will make you happy. However, I do not know if the gifts I send are what you want unless you tell me. So, unless I receive a note from you thanking me and letting me know how you feel about this gift, it seems wise to stop sending possibly annoying presents. No matter what, I will continue to love you.”

A small box of thank-you stationery tucked in might make a response more likely. Stamps wouldn’t hurt.

Stand back and be prepared to receive some much-desired mail. I did.

Ginger Philbrick is the owner of Because You Are Polite….LLC. You are invited to e-mail your manners questions to her and she will respond as time and space allow. You may contact her at youarepolite1@verizon.net and visit her website at becauseyouarepolite.com. RSVP!

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