DEAR ABBY: Our 11-year-old has learned to lie, and we feel terrible about it. Because she has a sensory processing disorder, clothes are a useless gift because the seams and fabric are often uncomfortable for her. We have repeatedly asked family and friends not to gift her clothes, but her grandmas are in denial and often do it anyway.
Our sweet daughter has decided that sparing their feelings is more important than asserting her own, and I'm worried this behavior will teach her that her feelings are less important than other people's. How do we teach her to be polite and honor her own feelings and wishes without offending well-meaning relatives who cannot understand that she doesn't appreciate or value these gifts? -- MAMA BEAR IN TEXAS
DEAR MAMA BEAR: Of course your daughter should be taught that her feelings -- and opinions -- are important. But accepting gifts graciously is proper etiquette. It is considered rude for a recipient to tell folks their gifts are unwelcome or unwanted.
It would not be rude, however, for YOU to run interference by reminding these clueless grannies about your daughter's problem and telling them what has been happening to their impractical gifts -- that they are given away, donated, etc. because she cannot wear them. A far more welcome gift would be something she's interested in or a gift card to a store that carries items she might like. Then suggest an area of interest of hers they may be unaware of. Also, for "insurance," request a receipt be included with the gift.