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Birthday invite with “Please no plastic toys” - Page 2

post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post
 

I would find it really obnoxious to get an article like that, personally, and I think that many other parents who sometimes let their kids play with plastic toys would feel similarly. I don't think that would be a good approach. 

Interesting. I find the 'requesting no plastic toys' obnoxious, but less so with an article that explains why. But agreed that the general sentiment is a little obnoxious because you shouldnt dictate the type of gifts  given to you, since they are 'gifts'.

 

However, i think a person who is particularly aware of the dangers of plastic, might feel guilty passing off such toys to charity.  As i become more aware of the dangers of different types of foods and the ways they are packaged and processed, i actually feel guilty making food donations where the foods should be canned or or dry and processed. Its a bit like, 'well, you're poor, so feed yourself these chemicals, and let your kids play with these other chemicals...because my kids are too good for that...' sort of thing.  ...just a thought....

post #22 of 48

Who is the party for?  Family or friends?  Both?  For family, I think it's perfectly reasonable to request "No Plastic", along with some favorite toy/craft supply ideas and places to purchase.  I find my relatives don't buy online as much as I do, so it's nice to have alternative suggestions for stores that have a large selection of such things.

 

I practically begged MIL to buy doubles for my girls if she finds a craft kit she likes, got some minor guff, then begged again "Please make this easy for me, I know they should be sharing at their age but this is a huge favor for me!"  ETA: I've told my sisters "No Barbies" and got eyerolls (they both have grown daughters) but then obliged with alternatives, and even brought those over for several birthdays without reminding.

 

In general, though, even relatives feel like they are the ones being judged for narrowing down choices.

 

If the invite is for friends, though, I would include "no gifts".  If the goal is one party, invite the family over for a big lunch and present opening, followed by the friends coming over for cake and games.  And goody bags, sans plastic.

post #23 of 48
When my kids were little, I limited plastic toys as much as I could, although they received, and loved, the Little People sets they were gifted. I still try and avoid "cheap" toys, but there are some plastic toys we wouldn't want to do without, particularly our MagnaTiles and Legos.
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
 

Interesting. I find the 'requesting no plastic toys' obnoxious, but less so with an article that explains why. But agreed that the general sentiment is a little obnoxious because you shouldnt dictate the type of gifts  given to you, since they are 'gifts'.

 

However, i think a person who is particularly aware of the dangers of plastic, might feel guilty passing off such toys to charity.  As i become more aware of the dangers of different types of foods and the ways they are packaged and processed, i actually feel guilty making food donations where the foods should be canned or or dry and processed. Its a bit like, 'well, you're poor, so feed yourself these chemicals, and let your kids play with these other chemicals...because my kids are too good for that...' sort of thing.  ...just a thought....

Well, I can sort of see that, but this position makes the assumptions that 1. other people don't have the same information you do and they would reach the same conclusions as you if they had access to the same information you do, and 2. that help that is imperfect doesn't help. Maybe other parents know about the drawbacks of plastic and for whatever reason have decided it's not as big a deal to them. If you did choose to issue a "please no plastic toys" invite and somebody asked you why, then I think it would make perfect sense to share your articles, but I don't think it's good to assume that other parents must only be using/giving plastic toys out of ignorance and that you can avoid any hurt feelings by sharing your information. I get not wanting to host a party and just say "Oh, well, if I get plastic I'll just donate it" if you really aren't a big plastic fan, but in that scenario "no gifts" is probably a better way to go, and then go buy a wooden train to donate to Toys for Tots (or whatever). 

 

As regards imperfect help, you meet people where they are, you know? If they live in an apartment without a stove or refrigerator, it doesn't matter if fresh food is healthier if it spoils before they can eat it and they don't have a way to cook it. In that situation canned food is better if it means they can store it safely and heat it in the microwave when they're ready to eat it. At least that way they get to eat. Charities are conscious of the needs of the groups that they serve, and will ask for the items that work best for those groups, even if those items might not be "best" for another person in a different situation.

post #25 of 48

If it is a kid party (not a family party), then absolutely not unless all the invitees are all very crunchy themselves. An article IMO is just condescending. I wouldn't go the no gift route because odds are, many will still show up with gifts. Either turning it into a theme like "Please bring your favorite art and craft/book, etc..." or just donate the gifts to a charity. 

post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
 

Interesting. I find the 'requesting no plastic toys' obnoxious, but less so with an article that explains why. But agreed that the general sentiment is a little obnoxious because you shouldnt dictate the type of gifts  given to you, since they are 'gifts'.

 

However, i think a person who is particularly aware of the dangers of plastic, might feel guilty passing off such toys to charity.  As i become more aware of the dangers of different types of foods and the ways they are packaged and processed, i actually feel guilty making food donations where the foods should be canned or or dry and processed. Its a bit like, 'well, you're poor, so feed yourself these chemicals, and let your kids play with these other chemicals...because my kids are too good for that...' sort of thing.  ...just a thought....

Anyone who would buy a plastic toy for another child likely gives their own children plastic toys. Assuming they do this out of ignorance is insulting and condescending. Providing an article is basically saying "I think you don't know enough to give your own children the best" rather than assuming it's because they made an informed decision that is different from your own. If a person asked specifically "Why don't you want plastic toys?" then the article would be appropriate- but sending it out like that would not.

 

 

And I agree with a PP- your attitudes toward canned food is also insulting and ignorant. Canned food doesn't go bad, at least not as quickly, so it can be stored for far longer. The charities don't have to spend money on refrigeration for canned food, so they can put that money where it's truly needed. Poor people who don't have the right amenities for fresh food can keep canned food safely. It's not actually poisonous. Is it better not to use it? Sure, but it's far less damaging to give a can of fruit than to give someone moldy peaches (even if they were fresh when you got them- there's time between when you donate and when they get to those who need them). Canned food means that if one month they get a surplus, and the next month they don't get enough, then they'll be able to save the surplus and give it over the next month. You can't do that with fresh food.

 

If you really want to- you can do research on which canned/etc foods are safest and use the fewest chemicals so that way you know that you're giving people in need the best you can.

post #27 of 48

Im surprised that everyone finds an attached article about the dangers of plastic condesending. By the same token, i didnt find it condescending when i saw the article pinned to the door of my friends, where they requested we remove our shoes. I  found it informative.   I was thinking of that when i made the suggestion. Why is spreading information condescending? It is not dictating to anyone how they should parent. A person might have newly discovered the dangers of plastic and be excited to share the news.

 

But, its not important.  We can agree to disagree on that.  

 

As for comments about food and  charities. I disagree. Most of the poor are actually children, who shouldnt be overdosing on  the bpa in  the lining of most canned  foods, not to mention the commonality of undiagnosed gluten intolerance made worse by many of the gluten rich processed foods in food pantries. 

Not to mention, those kind of  foods are usually the cheapest, and the poor can afford them, but not other more nutritious food. I mean, if youre poor, youre more likely to spend 89cents on  canned food, because it is cheaper.

As for cooking facilities, that depends. Some families have better cooking facilities  than others. Homeless shelters come equipped with cooking facilites, some better than others.

 

Still, its better than nothing, and i agree that its difficult to manage quality food, whereas packaged food doesnt  go off...i understand. I still dont feel right donating food to others that i wouldnt eat myself, especially when i think its children who are supposed to eat it.

 

 However, its not the point of the thread.

 

As for plastic, i let my kids play with plastic, more than i should. I admit to a bit of willful ignorance....i also wonder exactly how much plastic is too much....again, not the point of the thread.

 

ps. i wanted to add, that not all canned food is bad, and some companies now have bpa free lining...those would be good to donate to charites as they are usually the most expensive.

post #28 of 48

Gee, aren't the keyboards everyone is typing on made of plastic?  Do you play with Cds or DVDs?  Plastic.  Much of the interior materials of your vehicles?  Plastic.  Medical devices?  Many contain plastics.  Bottled water?  Plastic.  Is your home 100% free of plastics?  Doubtful. 

 

What about all the other toxins out there.  They are to be found in so many things. 

 

If I received an invite requesting specifically-manufactured types of gifts, I'd simply RSVP I couldn't attend and send a card.  At least most aren't made of plastic....But, many do use chlorine in their manufacturing process, so maybe not.  Not sure about how safe the paint is on a mailbox and I'll be polluting the air by driving to the post office.

 

Why not skip the gift requests completely, and just offer guests foods that have your approval and games for the little ones (maybe they could play with sticks and leaves?).

post #29 of 48
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the input I really appreciate it. I think this is a great conversation, a great way to talk about ideas, Thanks for keeping it polite!

post #30 of 48
I have three kids born within two weeks of each other (in different years!) so I often say something like "we all enjoy books and board games!" which lets people know that they don't have to bring multiple gifts, AND means that the kids don't get a raft of plastic crap.

Maybe have a themed party? Classic board games? Sandra Boynton? Harry Potter? Make sure the theme lends itself to affordable and widely available gifts, and go all-out in your party decor and refreshments, and nobody will think you're being a jerk.
post #31 of 48

Not the point of the thread i  know...,

but you raise a good point here.This is where i get stuck on the plastic thing. It really is everywhere, including in the packaging of most foods we eat. I have tried to go plastic free when it comes to cups and bowls/plates, and many end shattered on the floor whereas plastic lasts. Packing glass into a lunch box for school is asking for trouble. I might as well buy paper plates and cups rather than porcelain or glass....still, i agree with the general sentiment that plastic should be reduced, especially in toys....but i still  need to know how much is too much....

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by grahamsmom98 View Post
 

Gee, aren't the keyboards everyone is typing on made of plastic?  Do you play with Cds or DVDs?  Plastic.  Much of the interior materials of your vehicles?  Plastic.  Medical devices?  Many contain plastics.  Bottled water?  Plastic.  Is your home 100% free of plastics?  Doubtful. 

 

 
post #32 of 48

nonononono sorry but no to the article. No. Just no. Sorry contactmaya I know you mean well but really....I move in crunchy, organic, hippy, circles where around half the families are with the Waldorf school and the rest are at least slightly Waldorf-leaning homeschoolers and I promise you that if someone pulled something like that it would be talked about for years

 

What I've always found tends to happen at a birthday party is that parents who aren't sure, who don't know us too well, will ask what the birthday kid would like, to which I always reply "a book". I figure the worst that can happen is that the book is not to our taste and it can go to the charity shop, so everyone is a winner.I pretty much always give books and I'm aware that sometimes these books will be duplicate and end up as charity shop donations but I figure pretty much no one actually throws away a book. 

 

Oh eta sorry only saw the first page re the article. Doesn't change what I think but I think its been well said by now. There's a difference, to my mind, between asking someone to remove shoes and asking someone to give a particular kind of gift. But tbh I'd find a whole article about the dangers of toxins in shoes a bit condescending. I've read a lot of this stuff and I don't really agree anyway, I think a lot of the science is terrible.

 

 We do remove shoes in our house upstairs, and I just say to people who are headed upstairs to play (in our house, adults tend to stay downstairs to chat, kids head up to the bedrooms to play) can you take your shoes off. That's enough. I don't have to be educating people about it. If they ask why,I tell them. In ten years, only one kid has ever had a problem with it and we worked it out easily.

 

I think the thing is, contactmaya, an awful lot of what you are saying are opinions, and ones that, IMO, border on scaremongering. I am sure you feel them strongly, just as I am sure you mean well. But just as we have probably all had the lecture about slings and rods for our own back, and breastfeeding and all the rest, so any kind of information given with the purpose of evangelising is going to be annoying at best. Trying to educate people is patronising, IMO. Assuming people don't have the same quality info as you just because they haven't reached the same conclusions is patronising. 


Edited by Fillyjonk - 12/16/13 at 12:50pm
post #33 of 48

oh just thought of another option. Could you ask for a food contribution? I'm not sure how to word it exactly though to make clear that its food you are after and not a gift not food as well as a gift.

post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fillyjonk View Post
 

I think the thing is, contactmaya, an awful lot of what you are saying are opinions, and ones that, IMO, border on scaremongering. I am sure you feel them strongly, just as I am sure you mean well. But just as we have probably all had the lecture about slings and rods for our own back, and breastfeeding and all the rest, so any kind of information given with the purpose of evangelising is going to be annoying at best. Trying to educate people is patronising, IMO. Assuming people don't have the same quality info as you just because they haven't reached the same conclusions is patronising. 

I dont know why i feel the need to explain myself...but this is not about educating people, certainly not evangelizing, but rather to explain why the request is being made.   My experience with school aged kids is that im pretty clueless where most parents stand on these issues.. or whether they even take  an interest. 

 

As for opinions being expressed-of course. One expresses opinions on forums, and that is to be expected. I dont have opinions about canned foods, but i do have information about them, and feelings about giving them to other people...(not trying to scare anyone here....so no, its not scaremongering. Also, nothing wrong with opinions. You have have opinons based on  science, or  critical inquiry, or you can have them based on prejudice. Its ok to have an opinion and to express it. (thats my opinion on opinions)

 

Also, people have access to information, but may not be interested, or have the time. Most people have the internet, and can google whatever they like. Just because most people have the internet, doesnt mean you should stop sharing information.....

...

just my opinion, and i hope it doesnt scare anyone :-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 .


Edited by contactmaya - 12/17/13 at 11:03am
post #35 of 48

I think part of it is that including an article in a situation like that seems pointed. Like "You don't know the proper/best way to take care of your children and I am going to inform you about it" or "I don't want that garbage that you ignorantly think is okay for kids." Versus, say, posting an article on Facebook, where it isn't really directed at any one person and anybody can opt to read or not read it. Or offering to send an article to a friend about something that naturally comes up in conversation. 

 

Turn it around... I am assuming for purposes of this example that you are not in favor of CIO. Say you are at a group playdate and the subject comes up and you and others express your views. Afterwards you receive a message from somebody saying "I don't know if you are aware of the many advantages of CIO, so here is an article about it". Would you come away feeling more positively towards that person because they took time to share useful information with you, or would you just be irritated? I'd be irritated, whichever direction it went, whether it was more crunchy or more mainstream than the position I have. I don't mind people sharing information but I think that care should be taken to avoid an implication of "I think you're doing it wrong". 

post #36 of 48

erigeron puts it well. Its not to do with the information itself. We all have our strong opinions when it comes to parenting, we all think there are some things that others really should not do and I guess we mostly think that people who do them are doing them at least partly from ignorance. If only they knew what we knew. they would behave differently! And that's often true to an extent. But IME it really matters how you approach information sharing. Its about basic respect for differences, about not assuming someone who does things differently to you is doing so because they are lacking information. If you want people to take their shoes off, why not just ask them, and if they say, "why" then tell them? Why take it upon yourself to educate them?

post #37 of 48

I get how it could be condescending in some situations.. However, the article on the door about shoes didnt offend me at all. So it  didnt have the effect you are implying. I just took it as food for thought.

Maybe we are imagining different communities, or different scenarios.

post #38 of 48

 I very much like the donation idea...I have been to a few parties (housewarming/birthday/open house) that on the invite said something like "no gifts, though  please consider bringing a donation of nonperishable food for the food bank (or similar)" I was touched by the thoughtfulness of the hosts and it was remarkable to see the generosity of the party goers as well..as the other ladies said, this could be customized to the child's interests (gloves/socks/toiletries for homeless folks, art supplies for a battered women/children shelter, sports balls for a boys/girls club etc),  and totally avoids the issue of receiving items you may not want to have in your home.

post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by babymommy2 View Post
 

If I received that invitation, I would be tempted to bring a plastic toy out of spite. I wouldn't actually do it, but I'd be tempted. It will  label you as judgemental of all who do own a plastic toy. Gifts are gifts, you are not supposed to dictate what someone gifts to you. Either say no toys, or donate toys you don't want

 

I thought the same thing.  In fact, I'd be Googling the biggest, loudest, brightest plastic toy just for giggles.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
 

Im surprised that everyone finds an attached article about the dangers of plastic condesending. By the same token, i didnt find it condescending when i saw the article pinned to the door of my friends, where they requested we remove our shoes. I  found it informative.   I was thinking of that when i made the suggestion. Why is spreading information condescending? It is not dictating to anyone how they should parent. A person might have newly discovered the dangers of plastic and be excited to share the news.

 

 

The only example I can conjure up that reminds me of what you're talking about here is one that has happened to me before.  When people leave tracts about accepting Christ as your Savior or you will rot in hell for eternity, it doesn't really feel like "spreading information".  When someone leaves an article about how plastic toys are dangerous, will kill your children, will pollute the earth for your future grandchildren, etc., it doesn't really feel like you're just sharing information.  Maybe that helps clarify how someone (me!) may view these things differently.

post #40 of 48

There is no way to do this politely. It is just totally rude. If you really don't want them (and who does?) you do something less rude like say "no gifts please" or specify a theme "book party" or "art party" that excludes the monstrous. 

 

We do "no gifts please" and it works well. =)

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