DEAR MISS MANNERS: We mailed a birthday gift to our granddaughter, and our daughter arranged a video call to let us see her open the present.
To our surprise, our daughter admonished us for not sending a gift to our grandson so he would not feel left out. She stated it was proper gift-giving etiquette to send a gift to our grandson, even though his birthday is in June.
She said this to us in front of her husband and our granddaughter. This was embarrassing to my wife and myself.
We have never heard of this etiquette rule. Was our daughter correct? We love our grandchildren very much, and it was our belief that we did the right thing.
GENTLE READER: Your grandson will be sorely disappointed when his sister receives an Olympic gold medal one day and he is not automatically issued the silver.
Your daughter is subscribing to the idea that no child should be trusted to tolerate another’s milestones, success or good fortune without receiving similar compensation. But how else will they be taught the valuable life skill of knowing that everything is not about them?
Miss Manners assures you that you did the right thing. You may tell your daughter that your grandson’s present is certainly forthcoming -- in June, when it is his birthday, and not his sister’s.