Gransnet forums


Do you get acknowledgement?

(50 Posts)
Bluekitchen192 Tue 12-Jun-18 09:23:42

Ive been coming to understand that I never seem to be acknowledged for myself and wondered if this is a generational thing? Im nearly seventy and my family had a policy of not praising or acknowledging any achievements in their children. I was academically bright but my mother always told me to be humble that my gift belonged to God and that I should thank Him. I came to resent this,

I was married to a chap who expected me to be responsible for all financial and housekeeping matters and his role as pointing out where things might go wrong.

I have been noticing that my children do not thank me for gifts, meals, babysitting etc. and I realised that I was very hurt that my daughter did not acknowledge m
e in her wedding speech.

Does anyone else feel overlooked? I work hard, contribute to the community and help out my children without complaint as much as I can. Yet I feel ignored somehow.

M0nica Thu 14-Jun-18 19:59:18

I accept thanks in all forms, cards, letters, emails or quick phone calls and words of thanks. Its the message not the medium that counts.

oldbatty Thu 14-Jun-18 10:34:05

I think we have to accept the handwritten thank you on Basildon Bond is a thing of the past. Instead of holding on to the hurt why not have a light hearted 'oi I picked you up from the station, a thank you would be nice'. For example.

paperbackbutterfly Thu 14-Jun-18 09:03:24

I grew up in a family that cared about me but praise was never given as it would make us 'bigheaded'. I think it was normal for people in our age group. I have made a point of always praising my children for anything they achieve and saying how much I love them. I always thank them for the smallest consideration. I'm sorry you do not feel valued. I'm sure they do value your kindness but don't show it (like my mum). I agree with other posters that maybe you should prompt them by asking if they like the gift or enjoyed the meal you cooked.

M0nica Wed 13-Jun-18 22:06:32

dorsetpennt, I think you are unduly pessimistic. I am in my mid-70s and I haven't felt invisible yet. I think quite often many women in their 70s just give up on themselves and decide they are now invisible, so bring upon themselves what they expect.

Grandmama Wed 13-Jun-18 19:52:19

It's always been important to me to thank people, sometimes sending a note if appropriate for example if I've been invited to a meal with someone. My two grown-up DDs and two GDs always sent thank you letter to DH and me after Christmas and birthdays and DD2 always thanks me for granny duties. My cousin's grown-up DDs have always sent thank you letters.

Outside the family 'thank yous' vary a lot regardless of generation. We've never had a thank you note from my neighbour's young daughter (she's old enough) nor from people of my generation who have received gifts.

I always appreciate a thank you and particularly a written note.

dorsetpennt Wed 13-Jun-18 19:37:42

Sad to say a woman in her seventies is entirely invisible to the rest of the world ! Many years ago a woman journalist , might have been Katherine Whitehorn, wrote an article about the world's attitude to women throughout her lifetime. From about sixteen to thirty five a woman is looked at by both sexes. From thirty five to fifty less so, mainly by other women. At fifty to sixty only women see her and she is beginning to fade. At sixty and onwards she has faded completely . No longer of sexual interest , not useful in the workplace or the world in general. Still loved by her family and useful in the granny sense.
All this is in a light hearted jokey manner but sometimes it does seem true.

Tooyoungytobeagrandma Wed 13-Jun-18 17:14:43

Well I was having this same conversation with my work colleague yesterday. We are both in our 60'system and feel overlooked and sometimes belittled by AC and partners. My friend also seems to treat me like I'm somewhat stupid and jokes with my AC if we get together saying things like "oh is too young silly" & they laugh together. I usually ignore but my life is busy with work, home, animals and a retired husband who is useless and although I deal with most household stuff just criticises. I think we spend so much time thinking of others we lose sight of ourselves. I know try to be a little more selfish and do things for me and try not to do everything but tell my OH that as he is retired XYZ is down to him. Not everything gets done but at least he can't blame me wink

Luckygirl Wed 13-Jun-18 17:10:28

I understand the scenario of little praise as a child. My talent was (and still is) singing and I remember once at about the age of 8 singing something unaccompanied and instead of appreciation my Dad hit the final note on the piano to indicate I had gone very slightly flat. Great! Thanks Dad! Gosh I remember that so vividly.

How different it is now! - lots of praise for all our little ones.

To get back to the main topic - I do feel appreciated by my family. I do lots for them and in return they do lots for us. And they always say thank you; and bring flowers from the garden, and yesterday a chicken stew!

I take this for granted a bit as this is just how they are - I will no longer take it for granted! I do not know why your AC behave in this way OP, but it could be learned behaviour from seeing your OH take you for granted.

I wonder if you should confine yourself to activities, both for yourself and for others, that you simply enjoy for themselves rather than for the thanks that might come your way - in other words things that you love to do, whether they appear to be appreciated or not.

I strongly suspect that your family do appreciate what you do, but do not have the habit of saying so out loud. But I do think that if you tackle it with them it could backfire and cause uncomfortable feelings that might get in the way of enjoying each other's company.

We all need to feel a bit appreciated now and again. I am sorry that your family are not good at this. flowers

ajanela Wed 13-Jun-18 16:37:49

Eskay10, didn't you have your mother behind you saying, "Say thank you very much for having me" when you went to a party. I know I did with my daughter and was often scolded by the hostess with "She has already said it."

This is my point about manners, often it is just a polite but necessary speech, but so much more wonerful when it is a heartfelt thank you.

Bluekitchen192, when you talk about regularly getting a lump in your throat and getting overwhelmed, I think it might be time to look for a little help. I hope sharing your feelings on gransnet it helpful.

lollee Wed 13-Jun-18 16:30:10

I think all parents and grandparents should instil manners into their children. I remember having to write thank you letters as a child whenever I received a gift, even when given in person and thanks were verbally said at the time. There is no excuse today with nearly everyone having access to email and text.
My nieces and nephews all received money or gift cards for xmas and birthdays up to age 18 when i considered them old enough to be counted adult and the next generation were upcoming. My brother's 3 girls did not once say thankyou (sisters' kids all did), so i just suddenly stopped when oldest was 15/16. I felt as if i may as well have taken my £20 notes and posted them down the drain for all the acknowledgement I didn't get! He obviously was miffed as my sister told me he had mentioned it but she explained why and told him if they had shown a few manners they would have continued receiving. He never said anything to me, nor did they.

Eskay10 Wed 13-Jun-18 16:15:15

We do school pickups and dinners a couple of days each week. The grandchildren are always told by my DIL on leaving to “thank nanny for having you”. I feel quite upset about this, as I am not doing the children the favour, they are always welcome and dont have to thank me. But a sincere thank you from time to time from the DS and DIL would always be welcome.

celialillian Wed 13-Jun-18 16:12:30

Hi Bluekitchen reading your message was like reading about myself. I am now in my late 70s live alone I only have a son and daughter that is my entire family. they both live hundreds of miles away, and seldom visit, or even phone. I do get the occasional text message. I have all my life been caring and always there for them when they needed me. I think it is a general thing with these generations, they live for themselves only and they see no wrong in it....I have joined several groups, such as reading and walking with retired people and find the story of forgotten or taken for granted is very common. You have to become the same as them and live your life for you, have a full programme of things to do and tell them your to busy when they ask. As the saying goes if you cant beat them join them. Having your own life is much more fun, you have to ignore there selfishness and become selfish yourself....after raising children and looking after a husband you deserve your own time...I just love my freedom.

DeeWBW Wed 13-Jun-18 15:57:18

I have three sons and, for me, it's 'a son's a son till he takes a wife'. I also feel overlooked but did I bring it upon myself, I wonder?

Lilylaundry Wed 13-Jun-18 15:14:26

I don't buy presents for any of my family who haven't bothered to say thank you for the last present I gave them. Perhaps they don't like my choice of money, postal orders or cheques. The big plus here is that so few say thank you I have a nice pot of unexpected money - and I feel well justified in spending it on me.

I do the same with baby sitting, buying the odd item of clothing for a child, etc. If there is no thank you from the adults, or children if they are old enough, then bang goes free of charge help.

Teddy123 Wed 13-Jun-18 14:46:47

Your post totally resonated with me......... I'm now trying to address this type of situation in trying to change myself. It's not easy but one can only explain to others the precise reason you feel hurt, upset AND generally overlooked. So far I don't seem to be making much progress (!)but at least I don't feel so downtrodden. Hopefully the message will sink in eventually though all bets are off on that one.

NannaM Wed 13-Jun-18 14:30:50

Bluekitchen192 - Just a couple of months ago after my surgery for Breast Cancer, I realised that I was sick of being that person......who always thought of my AC and their needs first. So I told them that they had to start taking responsibility for each other, because I was "doing Cancer".
At first there was resentment and grumbles, but amazingly, when we had a little crisis, my DD rallied the troops, got the families on collective Skype calls and figured out a plan.
Sometimes, they just need to be told - mom is done for now. Figure it out yourselves.

EmilyHarburn Wed 13-Jun-18 14:15:39

I think women's contribution to the running of the family and the emotional tone of the family is overlooked in our generation.

I have just started to feel that I must make decisions about what I am good at and what I enjoy doing and do it as being over 75 one does not know how long one has got.

I had a lot of pleasure when I talk about employing people in the 1980's and giving them feed back after an interview etc that the person I was talking to said 'Well you were an exceptional manager.' I have been thinking about this now and realising that one worked very hard, read a lot and put it into practice and got no thanks for it. (Except my services did get Charter Marks).

So now I think retirement is time to enjoy ones abilities whilst one has still got them. I enjoy art and am intending to pick out some pictures, take down those left by mother and put them up. All part of me taking ownership for my talents.

Good luck Bluekitchen192

Jaycee5 Wed 13-Jun-18 14:09:58

I think that cutting people off can be the best thing to do but it is probably unfair if the issue has never been raised. It took me a long time to realise that I had the right to speak up. I wasn't allowed to as a child.
I agree with ican. I think it has to be something specific otherwise it will just sound like a generalised moan that won't really be understood.
To some extent I think children should be able to take their parents for granted as it is part of feeling secure in a family, but when particular help is given, thanks should be given. It is as much manners as appreciation.
It is hard to speak up for yourself when you have not done so for a lifetime. Maybe practise in the mirror.

oldbatty Wed 13-Jun-18 14:03:20

How did the conversation with your daughter regarding your disappointment at the wedding go?

icanhandthemback Wed 13-Jun-18 13:49:23

Bluekitchen192, you made me well up when you said about the lump in your chest. I don't think a lot of people show appreciation very well but if you come from a place where it blighted your life in some way, you are probably very sensitive about it. Have you thought of talking to your family about how you feel? Often even the most seemingly ungrateful children are surprised that you feel that way. It doesn't have to be a conversation which is head on "Why don't you appreciate me" It could just be a conversation about how you were brought up and how much feeling appreciated makes you feel on top of the world. Of course, it could make you feel worse if there is an awkward silence but you might be pleasantly surprised.

justwokeup Wed 13-Jun-18 13:40:40

As I child I also never remember receiving a single compliment or praise from my DPs. And even though I knew I was loved no one ever said it. Now I'm retired I feel that my opinion is no longer valued by anyone in the family. I also get a lecture if I do something 'wrong' when looking after DGC. It's as if the DCs think my brain no longer works! I'm still good for babysitting and housework though hmm. But I hear from/see DCs regularly though so I do feel blessed. And, I do agree with Patriciageegee in that I remember and regret being selfish myself when my family was young. Your family would probably be shocked if they knew how you feel. Great advice here about how to value yourself. And a little reminder about a thank you occasionally would not go amiss. Best wishes.

SunnySusie Wed 13-Jun-18 13:12:36

As ajanela says this may be a case of family culture, or it could be that your mother trained you so well to be humble, your nearest dont make a big thing of what you do because its seems as if you dont want the 'limelight'. I am rarely thanked and often overlooked, but I think its partly because I am a bit embarrassed by thanks and people on some level realise that. I look on amazed at families where Mums and Grans have presents bought for them, are taken on treats and get glowing praise. I dont think any of my family have ever told me I am a darling, amazing person and the best mother in the world (the comment my friends daughter posted on Facebook about a week ago). I am not sure its necessarily because my family dont think those things (I hope). When I think hard about it I cant really remember the last time I told my children they were amazing either. They would be surprised, to put it mildly, if I started to say things like that, because its not the norm in our family.

ReadyMeals Wed 13-Jun-18 13:12:21

Well I think it's clear you are appreciated and your company is enjoyed by children and grandchildren alike or they'd be asking to be babysat by someone else. So I do hope you achieve peace of mind for yourself. All the best!

Bluekitchen192 Wed 13-Jun-18 12:59:18

Thank you very much for all the replies.. They all help to clarify my mind. Its not whethet people say thanks actually. Its whether I feel my contribution is appreciated.

I didnt feel that way when I was growing up and it led to very difficult relationships with my parents later. At the time I couldnt have said why.

I know Im not the only one & that many people were onlu criticised never praised.

Im fascinated by the advice to cut people off if they dont say thanks. Really? Like Margaret Thatcher once said "I want to have a few friends at the end"

Even if they arent perfect. Its myself I want to change. This whole thing is a lump in my chest that takes up energy and makes me afraid to trust people.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 13-Jun-18 12:48:09

Unfortunately, manners change from generation to generation, so I think most of us sometimes feel that our children never show their appreciation,

Not saying thank you for a present is downright rude, I have on more than one occasion when no thanks have been forthcoming, asked straight out "Did you get the present I sent?" and received very shame-faced thanks.

If you brought your children up to say thank you and to show appreciation in general, I don't think there is anything wrong in telling them you feel hurt when they "forget" but it may not do any good.