Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
My son recently married a woman who has a very nice teenage daughter. My husband and I have given her gifts for various occasions since they have been part of our family. I was raised to write thank you notes, and raised my son to do the same. I have not received a thank you note from his stepdaughter from any gifts that we have given her. I know that this is obviously something that needs to be prompted by her parents. We even gave her a gift of stationery as a hint. Still no note has been written to us. What grandmothers really want for Christmas is a nice thank you note.
This is a delicate situation since it is about your new daughter-in-law’s child. A suggestion is to see if you can spend some one-on-one time with your new granddaughter. It can be an unofficial afternoon, day or weekend of “camp grandma.” Make it fun by asking her if there are things she would like to show you that she likes to do, and then add some things that you think is important for her to learn and appreciate. They can include cooking a family recipe, going to a cultural event such as a musical, symphony or museum, and how to write a thank you note. Ask her to bring her new stationery, and tell her you will help her write a note to a friend or relative who gave her a gift. This will be a non-confrontational way to help her learn how important writing notes are, and will give you time to get to know one another’s interests.