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by Abigail Van Buren

Graduate Needs Lesson In Writing Thank-You Notes

DEAR ABBY: I'll bet this is an issue in many homes. When my son "Chet" graduated from high school, we gave him a very nice graduation party, which included his friends and family. He received many gifts.

I gave my son thank-you cards, stamps, and a detailed list of whom to send the cards to. So far, he has refused. Chet is normally thoughtful and considerate. I don't know what to do. I'm embarrassed by his lack of gratitude. I have told him we have received thank-yous from his friends and that the cards can be brief. Should I send the thank-you notes myself, or just let it go? -- EMBARRASSED MOM IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR MOM: If the amount of mail I receive from readers complaining that their gifts are not acknowledged is an accurate barometer, your problem is very common. Without being confrontational, ask your son why he refuses to thank the people who gave him gifts. If the answer is he doesn't know what to say and he's embarrassed that he has procrastinated, offer to help him by making suggestions. You're right; the thank-yous don't have to be lengthy. But DO NOT write them for him. Chet is a big boy and the responsibility is his.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Family & Parenting