Tip Tuesday: Graduation Manners Matter!
Well it is that time of the year again when we see our children, nieces and nephews and our friends’ children taking that big step into the world….yes graduation! We are sure you have already seen the invites to the graduations and graduation parties. Ever wonder how much is appropriate to give? Or what to give besides money? Or maybe you are a parent of a grad…what about graduation party manners? And what is the proper etiquette for thanking those that contributed to your child’s future and how do you get your child to actually send a thank you note? All great questions that will be answered in our Tuesdays Tip today!
How Much is Too Much?
There’s going to be different levels of gift giving at different graduations. Some announcements that do not include a party invitation can be responded to simply with a graduation greeting card, though of course you can also send a gift if you like. Graduation gift can range from cash to books to computers. You may want to ask the graduate’s parents for advice on what to send, or send a gift certificate might be more appropriate or preferred.
For graduations, money, or pre-paid debit cards or gift cards will make great gifts. While it’s not a very personal gift, graduates will not mind this by any means.
Now, what to give. A casual acquaintance might give $20, an aunt or uncle might give $100 to $500. For a grandparent, the sky might be the limit for their grandchild. However, don’t give more than you can afford. A grandparent on a fixed income can graciously give a handwritten letter of love and advice. Give from your heart, and give only what you can afford. Don’t let a norm put you in a financial bind. You can always buy a nice thoughtful gift around $20 and the recipient doesn’t need to know how much you spent.
Why Manners Matter
First and foremost, have your children remember those that had a positive impact on your child. This means remember that teacher that cared or gave the extra attention your kiddo needed. Appreciate your teachers, staff, tutors, mentors etc. with a nice note or gift card.
Often, graduates attend several parties in one night since their friends are graduating with them and they need to stop by those parties, too. This is the one time when the guests of honor aren’t expected to spend the whole evening at their own party. The graduate should stay for the first 45 minutes to one hour of their own party to welcome all the guests. Have them keep in mind they are entering the adult world. It’s time for them to step up their conversation game. Knowing what to say can be hard for anyone, not just young adults. Be respectful of your guests and family who attend your graduation and your party by thanking them for coming. Not to mention when you receive your diploma, look the person in the eye, shake hands with right hand to receive diploma in the left, smile and say thank you! Be respectful of others’ homes where you might attend parties and say thank you for the invitation and respect their property. Celebration parties are not the time for losing control in your happiness.
The Thank You Note
Have the graduate send handwritten thank-you notes within two weeks of receiving a gift. We know your graduates are probably going to ask you why they can’t just email or text this? Remind them it takes extra effort to choose and purchase a gift. The extra effort it takes to handwrite the note is giving equal honor to the present. This applies to cash and gift cards, too. And no, Mom, you can’t write the notes yourself! This is their responsibility. Now you can offer help–but please do not do it for them!
We know it is probably easier to make our 8-year-olds do something than our 17-year-olds. Here’s a tip on getting them to write those thank you notes…
Take all the gifts, cash, gift cards— everything — and hide them. When they show you the thoughtful thank you note they wrote along with the stamped, addressed envelope, then and only then do they get their gift! You can help out by mailing them for your child and make sure it goes out. They might be a little miffed at you at first but will shortly understand the importance of this act of thankfulness. Especially when they are complimented by friends and relatives for expressing appreciation for their gifts. Your grad will like that feeling and that feeling will hopefully make them less hesitant to write thank you cards in the future.