A matter of bad manners

Dear Annie: My wife and I have lots of nieces, nephews and other distant relatives and friends who are graduating from high school, graduating from college, getting married or having children. On each occasion, we have been sending a very nice card, an enclosed letter and a very generous amount of money. We sometimes get two announcements in the same week, and it seems to be never-ending lately.

What we cannot understand is that, to date, we have received only one thank-you. We are appalled by the lack of good manners from today’s children and wonder what kind of parenting they’ve had. Sorry, but we cannot excuse this type of behavior. Our generation was brought up differently. From the time we were children, good manners were the most important thing we were taught, and etiquette was the benchmark by which people perceived others. We are sorry to have to do this, but in the future, we will not be acknowledging or giving gifts for these events, even if it means offending friends and family. — Disappointed

Dear Disappointed: No need to excuse this behavior — it is inexcusable — but you might bring it to the attention of your relatives, letting them know you were surprised not to hear back from your nieces and nephews. As parents, they may be unaware of their children’s negligence, and perhaps they will use this situation as a teaching moment on the importance of good manners. This will be especially helpful for those who are entering the corporate world. Many employers refuse to hire an applicant, no matter how qualified, if the candidate fails to write a thank-you note for an interview. There are many positive results that come from writing thank-you notes, such as making the world nicer. It really is that simple.