18 answers

Birthday Cards from Grandparents

my husbands father & step-mother never send birthday cards to our kids...our baby just turned one, & i am working on her baby book, i put everything in there including birthday cards from all the grand parents...i think it's sad that they don't have cards in their books from this set of grandparents. my oldest daughter has even noticed that they dont get a card from their "g-pa S." & when she turned 6 earlier this summer she looked for one for weeks after her birthday in the mail...i dont know what to tell them? is it rude to ask them to send the kids a birthday card? (i dont want them to think i'm asking for a gift, just a card, it's not like they cant afford to send one they just dont). what would you tell your kids when they ask how come their "g-pa S." doesnt send them a card? i mean we dont see them (the last time we saw them was almost 5 years ago) but my husband talks to his dad on the phone a lot & so my oldest daughter will talk to him too & she is always asking us how they are doing (she asks about all her g-parents & she will color pictures or make cards & send them to all of them every month or so)...they usually send my husband a card on his b-day, & they usually send a christmas card, just not b-day cards for the kids...(& they know when the kids b-days are because the stepmom is on facebook & i have stuff that says the kids b-days...) i'm just not sure how to handle this?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank You for all the responses. I think this is partially my fault (unintended) because we live so far away from so much of the family & don't get to see many of them very often. I have spent a lot of time emphasizing how important family is & that just because we don't live close we shouldn't forget them. There are a lot of grandparents (on both sides) so it has taken awhile to teach her who everyone is & for her to remember since we live away from them. We send out pics of the kids with letters/cards at least once a month so that everyone can see how the kids are growing & so they know we are thinking of them. My oldest is very smart & never forgets anything, so she always makes sure we haven't forgotten anyone when we are sending out letters but I guess she has also taken to accounting for who sends her cards as well. Maybe she is sensitive (& myself too) but I should probably just start telling her not to expect anything from them, I guess it is just a little more awkward for me because it's my husband's father instead of mine.

Featured Answers

My daughter thinks I am horrible. I absolutly hate doing mail. I never send cards even if I go out of my way and buy them. when my daughter told me she would really like to get cards from me every now and then I really tried but it just didn't last. I stink at it!!!

At my child care center we studied post offices for a week in February a few years ago. I told each of my parents to tell their family members to send the kids cards and we would put them in their new mailboxes in their cubbies. I got several cards every day for quite a while after that. maybe if you make up a story like this and tell the grandparents they would not be offended and think they were really doing a cool thing. But then again, they may be just like me and hate doing the whole mail thing. Either way, the kids need to know it's not them. You just give them a hug and tell them it's from the grand parents, they love them but just don't send cards and stuff.

4 moms found this helpful

Some people like me do not send cards. I would rather call, I think cards are a waste of money. They might feel the same way.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I wouldn't say anything. Your daughter speaks with them on the phone and that is something special she does with them. My in-laws send cards a couple times a month to our son - he is their 1st grandchild so they spoil him a lot and they work at home so they have easy access to all the card making supplies. My parents sometimes send a belated b-day card - my son is their 10th grandchild and they both work outside the home and are very busy so they don't have time to send cards, a phone call usually works better. Just because they don't send a card doesn't mean they love them any less, they just have different ways of showing it. Perhaps you could have your daughter start sending pictures and homemade cards to them, maybe they will want to reciprocate.

5 moms found this helpful

In my husband's family there are nine kids and countless grandkids. Sometimes grandma (mid 80s) sends presents or a card and sometimes she just can't keep up with it all. My husband's sister wants her kids to get presents from grandma so she buys the presents herself then calls her mom (grandma) and talks to her about the present. Everyone is happy this way. Grandma even enjoys getting thank you notes from her grandkids. Sometimes if you want things to be a certain way you have to make it happen yourself.

4 moms found this helpful

Different families have different traditions and some things just aren't important to them. I used to date a guy that went bonkers on gifts at Christmas, but barely noticed my birthday. It was really odd until I realized that that was the way his family had always done things. You said they send your husband a birthday card, but do they send cards to any other grandchildren? My mother-in-law has 25 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren - we never know if she will remember our kids birthdays or not. Some years she sends a card, some years a card with money and some years - nothing. My kids don't seem to notice or make a big deal about it. I am surprised your children are so aware, if they have not even seen these grandparents in five years and your daughter is only six. I suspect that she is picking up her cues from you.

4 moms found this helpful

We live half the continent away from our families, and one set of grandparents sends cards for EVERYTHING. My kids noticed it too, so I asked my parents to start sending cards because the boys love getting mail from them. My parents were happy to do so, the kids are happy all around, and it wasn't a big deal.

Since it's your husband's side, I suggest just having him ask them.

4 moms found this helpful

If you talk with them from time to time about the things that you're doing, you could mention the baby books and what you're doing with them. Let them know that you're putting birthday cards into their books. I suggest that they are not aware of how important cards are in your family. Some families never send cards. I'm like Gamma G. I buy the cards but never get them sent. But if I knew that my daughter was keeping a baby book I would be sure to send them. BTW, I stopped sending Christmas cards years and years ago. LOL No hand written letters either since I got e-mail.

If you talk about the baby books and cards in a diplomatic way, they may start to send cards.

How old is your oldest daughter. If she's at a young age, she could just ask about cards. Kids do say the "darndest things." My granddaughter is outspoken and if she expects something and doesn't get it, she asks about it. No one's had their feelings hurt yet. Or she could just talk about the cards she's received and suggest that she really likes birthday cards.

I encourage my friends and family to tell me what they want and/or need. Takes a load off my back not having to guess.

4 moms found this helpful

My daughter thinks I am horrible. I absolutly hate doing mail. I never send cards even if I go out of my way and buy them. when my daughter told me she would really like to get cards from me every now and then I really tried but it just didn't last. I stink at it!!!

At my child care center we studied post offices for a week in February a few years ago. I told each of my parents to tell their family members to send the kids cards and we would put them in their new mailboxes in their cubbies. I got several cards every day for quite a while after that. maybe if you make up a story like this and tell the grandparents they would not be offended and think they were really doing a cool thing. But then again, they may be just like me and hate doing the whole mail thing. Either way, the kids need to know it's not them. You just give them a hug and tell them it's from the grand parents, they love them but just don't send cards and stuff.

4 moms found this helpful

My sister and I are both SO BAD at remembering to send cards to each other's kids. It's kind of become a joke that it must be genetic. However, I do dote on my niece and nephew even though I sometimes forget the stupid card. (Oh, and I'm on facebook too and I still forget. I don't see those dumb notices!)

I wouldn't say anything. It's just going to cause problems. It's just a card. Sure if you tell them to send a card they might, but next year they'll probably forget again. (I would!) Plus I'd be a little ticked if someone told me to send a card!

You could tell your kids that some people just don't send cards for whatever reason, and let it go. Your kids sound a little overly sensitive if they check the mailbox for weeks after their birthdays. Just say "oops, grandpa and grandma must have forgotten! Oh well, let's call them and see how they're doing today!" Help your kids understand they aren't the center of everybody's universe. My MIL sends e-cards..... sometimes. My kids don't pine away at the mailbox because she didn't send a real card.

People are just different and you can't change them and make them act how you want them to act, or do things you think they're supposed to do. Love them for who they are and make sure your kids send them cards on their special days. It's more important to learn to show love than to receive it.

3 moms found this helpful

If you're close enough, I'd just bring it up. Just casually mention how much she liked getting a card from (whoever) and say, "You should send them one. It'd make them feel so special to get some mail!" No biggie. Some people just don't think about it. Not sure why. When I have grandkids, I totally plan on sending them a card once a week even if I live next door, lol.

3 moms found this helpful

I used to be a card person, but frankly they have gotten so expensive I've stopped mailing a card for every occassion. This is an opportunity to demonstrate to your dgtr that people show their love in many different ways. Use this as a learning tool and not a punishment to this set of grandparents, you never know..they could be socking that card money away in a college fund for your kiddos. Accepting people the way they are is an important life lesson.

2 moms found this helpful

start having the kids make them birthday cards and send the cards to the grandparents. Maybe they'll get the hint.

2 moms found this helpful

Well, my experience growing up was one set of grandparents and an aunt and her family were all Jehovah Witnesses and did not celebrate any holidays or birthdays nor send cards. The rest of the family did celebrate and send cards. My mother just said people celebrate the holidays in different ways, but everybody still loves you.

I grew up knowing that all the relatives cared for myself and my siblings, but just showed it in different ways. I don't remember ever feeling slighted. It seemed normal for me for no presents from one set of grandparents.

Just explain to your children that people celebrate in different ways and this set of grandparents doesn't do cards, so your kids aren't looking in the mail for cards that aren't coming. Don't try to insist the grandparents do things your way. It won't work and will cause hard feelings.

Your kids will be fine with grandparents doing different things.

L. F., mom of a 14-year-old daughter

2 moms found this helpful

Some people like me do not send cards. I would rather call, I think cards are a waste of money. They might feel the same way.

2 moms found this helpful

It is what it is...I wouldn't ask them to send them. When the kids ask, it is bets IMO to be honest tell them it seems they only send Christmas cards. They are kids and they will probably ask them why at some point. And they are the right people to ask.

2 moms found this helpful

I am a card person. I love them and the personal little notes that can be included. I come from a long line of "carders" and married into a family of "carders" too. This is so sad to me because it is a simple (and cost effective) expression that you took the time to recognize someone for milestone at hand.
I would mention to g-pa how much it means to the kids or even ask hubby to broach subject with them. Of course, you can't make them do it. . .but at least make them aware of the situation. They may not even be aware how much a small statement like this can mean:)

1 mom found this helpful

I don't like cards. They really are just canned sentiment. Do the GP's send a gift? Or at least acknowledge the birthday's in some way? If so, then I would let it go.
As far as what to tell the kids....just tell them that some people don't like to send cards. It's really not that big of a deal, unless you make it into one.

1 mom found this helpful

They may just not think of it. I would casually mention to the grandparents that she noticed that she didn't get a card from them. It might just take reminding them of it.

1 mom found this helpful

My mom used to send cards to her grandchildren in Florida with money for the birthdays. No one ever thanked her or even called her. They never acknowledged her on her birthday either. So now that I am her care taker that has stopped. but we now get call about her not sending the card. To me they just wanted the money. I don't know if you acknowledge them on their special days or not, it works both ways. So maybe send them a card , you might just get one in return.

I read some other posts and sorry....
Cards being expensive is not a good excuse for grandparents not acknowledging their grandchildren's birthday. There are 99cent cards made by Hallmark, dollar stores have 2 for $1.00 cards and stores like Kmart sell them in a pack of 10 for $3.95!!!! It is your hubby's place to "remind" gramps that birthdays are coming if he is "forgetful". These are kids not teens and birthdays are of great joy to them. If a $1.00 cards and a 44cent stamp are a burden then a phone call is the obvious alternative. Good Luck!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.