It’s his manners, not your mothering!

by Rod Smith

My son (16) will not immediately send thank you cards for all the wonderful presents he received. He drags his feet and gets it done only with the threat that I am going to tell his aunts and uncles to leave him off their lists in future. What do you suggest I do?

Nothing! If your son was 13, or younger, I’d suggest you insist he obey your instructions and do whatever you expect of him. At sixteen he is certainly beyond an age where you are able to decide what kind of person he will be.

I’d suggest you stay out of what occurs between your son and his generous aunts and uncles. He is old enough to know what he ought to do, and old enough to reap whatever consequences may result from his lack of common courtesy.

Do not fall to the temptation to explain yourself (or to explain him) to his relatives. Leave it all up to him. This is a good opportunity for your son to see that it is he alone who is responsible for how he relates to others. Remember, his not sending thank you notes reflects on him and not on you. This is about his manners, not your mothering!

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