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Please help with lunch bag

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
DSD is moving in with us & starting. 7th grade. New school & new state. I asked her a month ago about lunch bags. She asked to be allowed to pick one out when she got here. I agreed even knowing that meant nothing would be on sale. She arrived mid week & starts school tomorrow & told us yesterday when we went to target that she wants the disposable brown paper bags. DP & I are anti disposable products. First she said that she uses the same one over & over so she doesn't waste them. And that a big or bulky thing wont fit in her bag (this is true). Then she said at her old school everyone used them & the few that didn't were made fun of (I'm not sure this is true). Today she told me she didn't want people to think she was cheap, which I obviously pointed out nothing looked cheaper than paper bags. The last comment was that they are recyclable since they are paper. We did manage to have a reasonable conversation about it after the initial teen tantrums. Really she just wants to fit in, and I understand that. I asked her to consider that at this school paper bags might not be what everyone does. I know there is huge anxiety about lunch time. I did suggest the thin cloth bags & was not completely dismissed, but would have to order online I think. What would you do?

sent from my phone using tapatalk, please excuse typos.
post #2 of 16

Get the paper bags.  Not a hill to die on imho.

post #3 of 16

I don't know what type of relationship you have w/your dsd, or the circumstances of the move.  However, my advice would be to buy a bag of disposable brown bags, which are likely less than a dollar, and chalk it up to helping your dsd feel that her ideas and opinions are valued.  There are bigger hills to die on than disposable lunch bags, and if it's what she needs to feel OK about starting school, so be it.

 

The bonus is that you're not out a lot of $$, and she may go to school, see something else that's in style, and you will have the $$ to get it.  FWIW, we usually buy an insulated tote at a place like Homegoods (BuiltNY, or something like that), but frequently my dd will use funky totes, small bags from trendy stores that she finds at consignment, tiny LL Bean bags-you get the idea, and stick an ice pack in it.  It's a very cool way to have a lunch bag that no one else has.  I can also see some of my dd's friends being into the brown bag-thing as a retro cool idea-they would likely color on them, etc.

 

I'm editing to say that I know w/my 7th grader, the small things are very important to them.  Jr high can be very tricky.

post #4 of 16

I would get her some paper bags to use for now. It is a small thing that will probably help her to feel much better during this time of changes. After school starts and she is feeling less anxious maybe you can get her to pick out something less disposable.

post #5 of 16

My 7th grader has a tiffin that I made a bag for and my senior has the Alien Laptop lunch box smile.gif.  My sophmore on the other hand is a brown sack boy.  I send him in with wax lunch sacks for his sandwich and side and am really happy he is eating lunch.  junior high and high school is so much about peers and relationships and looking cool and fitting in.  And one of those things is also about how thin you are and whether anyone ever sees you eat.  My nieces don't eat and that is so much a bigger battle for her than the brown sack is to me - he's eating, I'm happy.

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks mamas. We have a pretty good relationship thankfully smile.gif we discussed again just a little ago and I said I hadn't made a decision but how did she feel about a small bag of bags while she checked out how things are done here & then a re-evaluation. She was happy to agree even though I said again I hadn't fully decided. I've always allowed her to have her say and will agree when possible. I think this is why she actually listens to me (after obligatory eye rolling etc LOL). I will take your good advice & let this go if she decides to stick with paper. In all honesty my reaction could have been influenced on the last minute-ness of it & my wondering about lying (a problem she has) making me want to dig in my heels. Thanks for showing me sense!

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post #7 of 16

I am glad you are going this way.  Jr High and High School are very difficult for kids to navigate, and even seemingly trivial things (to adults) are a VERY BIG DEAL to kids.  She just wants to get the lay of the land before she gets the "wrong" lunch bag. 

post #8 of 16
You've got it sorted for right now, but i just wanted to comment on the disposable aspect of brown bags. One year in high school, I used the same brown bag for months. I re-used bags and at some point, I realized I had re-used one for a few weeks. It became a curiosity and a challenge to see how long it would last. It's not as good as a cloth bag that can last for years, but it isn't terrible either.

It's nice that you are giving her the choice and some time to decide.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to pop in & say thanks. I threw the bag of bags into the cart on Sunday & she noticed right away & said thank you. I feel good that she acknowledged what was important to us & that we were able to discuss it, & I'm sure she felt good about being heard. For the record I overheard the conversation with her dad after school & it seems most people do have some kind of reusable bag though I didn't hear what kind. She has not asked for one & seems happy to be reusing the paper one for now. Thanks again!

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post #10 of 16

I can't copy the link, but I was browsing through the Reuseit.com site and I saw a re-usable cotton lunch bag with the words printed on it "I'M NOT A PAPER BAG'.  It made me think of you and your dsd!

 

 

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by neonalee View Post
I threw the bag of bags into the cart on Sunday & she noticed right away & said thank you. I feel good that she acknowledged what was important to us & that we were able to discuss it, & I'm sure she felt good about being heard.

 

Good for you. I think it is important with our preteens and teens to let them make some of their own choices and come to their own conclusions. She might decide she wants a re-usable one later. But it can be HER thing, not yours.

 

I really feel like at this stage we need to find the balance between letting them figure stuff out on their own and not letting them really screw up. Reusable lunch things are nicer -- if you use re-usable ice, you can take more food options that if you don't. Your lunch doesn't get squished. It's just better. But she can figure that out while on her own while not being overly stressed about living in a new situation, starting a new school, and the standard fear of 99% of all kids her age of Not Fitting In.

 

She's got a lot going on right now -- I'd cut her all the slack you can stand.


Edited by Linda on the move - 8/31/11 at 9:03pm
post #12 of 16

Glad it worked out. Kids are funny about things. In our area, it's rare to see a kid using a paper bag for lunch. You can't even find them in the local grocery stores. Still, I can understand her seeing it as a safe option to start in a new school. I would throw out a casual offer to purchase a re-usable lunch bag in case she changes her mind down the road.... just so she knows it's still an option and you won't give her a hard time for having a change of heart.

 

Good news is, 7th grade really is the worst when it comes to our kids wanting to wear the acceptable name brand clothes and have all the "right" gear. After 7th grade, their need to fit in every possible way starts to fade.

post #13 of 16

Coming in late, but totally not a hill to die on at all.  Be happy it was paper lunch sacks....my hill to die on in 7th grade was Guess jeans.  I made my mother's life hell until I got them too.  

post #14 of 16
Quote:

Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 

In our area, it's rare to see a kid using a paper bag for lunch. You can't even find them in the local grocery stores.


It's rare here too. We can buy them, though. I think people mostly get them to make puppets.thumb.gif

 

I keep some on hand to use if they leave their lunch box at school.

 

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post




It's rare here too. We can buy them, though. I think people mostly get them to make puppets.thumb.gif

 

I keep some on hand to use if they leave their lunch box at school.

 


LOL, exactly. I had to really hunt to find them for a girl scout project. I think we ended up getting them at a Walmart next town over.

 

 

 

post #16 of 16

I don't know if they're still in stock, but Old Navy usually has some vinyl lunch bags that are basically a paper sack but slightly insulated. Both of my DDs prefer these as they "smash up" in their backpacks and don't take up a lot of room and they can open them easily inside their backpacks to remove the food. This way, I can put an ice pack in there and keep their food from spoiling. I just heard on NPR that many lunches gone uninsulated start to spoil before one eats them and cause gas and other intestinal issues.

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