Modern Manners Monday - Kids & Swag or Giveaways - When is it Enough? | Divine Lifestyle
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Modern Manners Monday – Kids & Swag or Giveaways – When is it Enough?

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QUESTION

Dear DMM: We attend a lot of events with our children. They almost always have giveaways for the children. It could be everything from candy to coloring books but there is usually something for the kids to go home with.

Lately I have noticed something a little disturbing to me when we attend events but I have not said anything to anyone about it. However, this past weekend, we attended an event where my son noticed what I have noticed.

At the end of this particular event, there were not enough goody bags for my children. In fact, they were completely out although the event planners said that they knew they had enough for every child and even had a few extra. My kids are pretty good natured kids and they were fine. There were no meltdowns. They were happy just to attend the event.

Later that evening, my son came to me and said that there was something bothering him. He overheard another mother telling her child to take as many bags as he could get. My son said, “You said never to take more than one for each of us. But today kids were taking whatever they wanted and their mothers were telling them to do it. Why would those moms do that? Don't they care about the other kids who didn't get anything?”

I sat there open-mouthed not quite sure what to say.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO YOUR CHILD?

Give Advice on our previous Modern Manners Monday posts:

Dealing with a Negative Child

Dealing with a Tattletale

Shopping with Children

Table Manners & Restaurant Etiquette

Is it only a Quarter? Beware of Bad Manners

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12 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Eileen

    I am speechless…almost…
    I guess what I would tell him is that even some parents must not have been taught well , but he is lucky that his is being taught right from wrong so that HIS children will be brought up right and have the self respect and caring heart for others that he has.

    He is right to be disappointed and I would say sorry that his feelings were hurt by an adult that should have known better…but those things are just THINGS . I only hope that this discussion might make those parents aware that the greediness hurt another child and that is not acceptable. How very rude and they should be ashamed.

    I am liking this post in hopes that others might see. Hope it gets tweeted out too…this should run through out the blog world. Others need to be accountable for a child’s hurt…
    reminds me of your other story with the “only a quarter”. WOW…holy cow people are selfish..

  2. That’s horrible, not to say that I’m not surprised, but still horrible nonetheless. At least you can know that you raised your children right. We attended a party with a piñata and the kids of course were grabbing candy like crazy (normal for kiddos) but our daughter grabbed one piece and she was so happy (3 years old) and we were proud of her, some parents even told their children to put some in her bag, but I can’t imagine if the parents were encouraging the kids to swipe all the candy and Miss A got none. So sad. Isn’t this a mirror of life sometimes though, we want our children to achieve great things and sometimes push them but hopefully moreover encourage them, but we also need to teach them ethics, and care for others. I continually remind my children to be kind, thats not a word you hear a lot these days.

  3. I’m revealing myself as Mean Mommy here, but I’d remind my kids that we give all that stuff away anyway. I sort of hate swag bags, goody bags, door prizes, etc. Just seems to breed greediness and bad manners, plus I don’t like building the expectation for my kids that they will get presents everywhere they go.

    Why not select winners afterward & mail to houses as a pleasant surprise?

  4. Wow. Just wow.

    I think I would be like you…dumbstruck and not sure what to say. After sitting here thinking about it, I think I would hope I would say something like, well some people don’t obey the rules and don’t realize that it hurts others. I bet they would feel bad if saw how upset you were. And that is why it’s important not to be greedy.

    ugh. it makes me sick. These women were literally stealing from CHILDREN

  5. ellen

    Speechless but not quite as it doesnt surprise me at all.

    I will give you an example- I am a ‘contester’ on Twitter. You know until quite recently I didnt realize that people lied about circumstances, and that many things are sold on EBay . I always thought that the person entering a contest either needed or wanted an item for themselves or family.
    Kinda the same thing, in that parents (likely Moms) are setting an example and really dont have much of a defense.

    In the situation above, I probably would have told the child that the other kids and their Mothers likely were never tight about being kind to others. It’s a pity you have to tell a kid that and expose them to how the world works :/

  6. Wow- I never had to deal with that when my kids were little. I did always write the name of the children on the bags and had a few extra aside that I could write on quick for the kids that didn’t know if they could come and did last minute. If that was me and I saw a mom letting her kid do that I would def say something- gently but def say something.

  7. I hear that sort of thing all the time.

    It’s up to the event planner and hosts to be fair and give them out, one per child.

    If I overheard a mom say that, though, I would have said to her “It’s one per child. If some children don’t get any, it’s because you filched them”.

  8. Wow. That would break my heart.

    I would probably tell my child the truth if they are old enough to ask and know it’s wrong. Some people do things that aren’t nice or fair but it gives us even more of a reason to be fair and kind since we know how it feels to be hurt by someone’s greed.

    As far as the event goes, I would definitely contact the event planner/co-ordinator afterwards and politely tell them what your child said, and make the suggestion that they put the bags aside and hand them out as guests leave.There is no reason to have bags out like that-it just encourages people who are rude enough to take more than their share.

  9. I was going to say the same thing that Kelly did. Even my 3-year-old would know that was wrong of that mother, and she would question it. It’s unfortunate that some people are greedy and lacking in the ethics department.

  10. Speechless here too. What message does that child get? Grab as much as you can? I tell my children never to assume that they will get a goodie bag at a party. My children are in school all day so I rarely take them to events with swag. They do fight about who gets to open the packages that come in the mail. We have had a number of discussions about the stuff I receive to review. If it is a boy thing my son gets it, but if it is a girl thing my girls have to take turns. Many times I call the item that arrives at our house , a family item for all of us to share, thus avoiding arguments.

  11. Elizabeth I

    I feel like these situations occur for two reasons. The people who are putting on this event haven’t figured out how to distribute the “gift bags”…ie, an adult hands out each bag to each kid individually.

    The second reason is the people in charge are not confrontational and are not willing to go up to a mother and say “No, each child can only have one bag or other children will not have a bag.

    I tell my children when they see something not nice or kind to pray for the people involved….it acknowledges the poor behavior and gives them something proactive to do about it.

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