Why do store employees DO THIS!!!!!! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was at Target this morning trying to get my grandma's OTC medicines straightened out and my 2 and 3 year old were bored and hungry so they were not being the quietest they have ever been. They were whining and the oldest decided she wanted to re-arrange the medicine aisle all while I was trying to talk to the pharmacist. I quietly kept telling her to be still we were leaving in a minute. The whole process took under 10 minutes and after the pharmacist left we were making our way down the aisle when I heard an employee say "Hey girls I have something sweet for ya" Two Tootsie Pops! I politely told her they were not allowed to have them and began to leave when she asked why. I almost said "Because I am their mother and I said so!" but I didn't want my girls hearing me talking like that so I said "Because they are a choking hazard and I don't allow my children to have sweet processed sugars like that." She looked at me like I was speaking Latin. Now, my girls did not throw a fit wanting the candy but I was still very annoyed. Why do people question stuff like that? Why would they just offer THEM without asking ME first? I know, I know it was to be "nice" and "friendly" and all that garbage, but it just gets to me. Sorry for the rant.

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#2 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:06 PM
 
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To be honest, I'm suprised that you would be offended or upset by that.

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#3 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:13 PM
 
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I really dislike when empoyees or wait staff offer my kids anything without asking me first and certainly when they ask right in front of my kids. Especially sweets and candy. I'm sure their intentions are good but I find it disrespectful.
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#4 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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I'm with ya ladybug. When my boys were about 3 we were doing a lot of errands and someone offered them hard candy. I said no becuase they would hate it and/or choke. She looked at me like i was an idiot. so we took the candy home. one twin spat it out, told me he hated it for about 20 minutes and then the other twin started to choke and i did something close to a hymlick maneveur (sp?) to get it out. Mommy knows best, people!
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#5 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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I think the employee was just trying to be nice and help you out by making the kids happy. I would guess that 9 times out of 10, the parents would be grateful - not saying that you should be - but that most parents wouldn't think twice about an occasional sucker. So maybe that is why the employee was surprised at your response.

I do think they should ask you first, and hand them over to you if you accepted.

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#6 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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Yeah, I am a little surprised too?

I've had folks offer DD lollipops and things and I've always said thank you and just pocketed it. I mean, it was a lollipop not crack you know? I guess my opinion may not be as popular because on occasion we veg out with treats like that.

I would have said "they are too young, but thank you so much for thinking of us" or something like that. I wouldn't have been offended or horrified because it's a nice gesture

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#7 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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Where do you live where this is a problem?

No place I've been does that here in New Mexico. Sure the bank has lollipops, but you either have to ask for them or if you go inside there is a little jar of them. I either let my kids have them, or tell them not today. No big deal.

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#8 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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I don't mind it much, but it can be a bit annoying if my kid decides they have to have it. I avoid junk food aisles and such when shopping with them (unless I happen to actually be planning to buy a treat of some kind), so I really don't want other people calling attention to them, let alone offering them, yk? OTOH, I appreciate that people are just trying to be nice, and to help if the kids are in a bad mood.

I guess I just wish our society, as a whole, would default to something other than sugar to try to cheer kids up.

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#9 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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i would have done the same thing. Honestly, I understand that the person "means well," but it sets a bad precedent for the child. "If I behave like this, I will get rewarded with a sweet treat." Also, this is candy from a STRANGER. Don't we tell our children not to take things from strangers?

I am the parent. If you want to give my child something, you need to ask me first. What if the child is allergic to wheat, dairy, eggs, whatever? What if I don't happen to have my Epi-pen with me?

If I want my child to have this sweet treat, I will buy it for them.
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#10 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommariffic View Post
I would have said "they are too young, but thank you so much for thinking of us" or something like that.
:

I can understand how someone could find it annoying, but I try to respond to people's intentions rather than whether their viewpoint meshes perfectly with mine. And, even though it can be annoying in certain situations, the intentions are nearly always good when someone does that, so I respond politely. I certainly would never tell the person my child would "hate it" as someone else said -- that's much ruder than offering candy, IMO.

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#11 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:25 PM
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To be perfectly honest, I think it is very rude to decline a gift given with good intentions. If a pharmacist (if we used one) gave my children candy that I felt was inappropriate, I would thank them for it, take the candy, and discard it out of her sight. I'd rather listen to my kids scream for it all the way home than offend someone who was trying to be kind.
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#12 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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I definitely prefer being asked about treats - and I appreciate the places that do that. I've also found a lot of places simply hand out stickers which just don't bother me the same way candy does.

I'd be a little irritated she felt like she needed to ask why and didn't just let you say you didn't want them though. Like it's any of her business. Great opportunity to make up outlandish stories about how a family member died after choking on a tootsie pop or something so you never eat them.
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#13 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KweenKrunch View Post
To be perfectly honest, I think it is very rude to decline a gift given with good intentions. If a pharmacist (if we used one) gave my children candy that I felt was inappropriate, I would thank them for it, take the candy, and discard it out of her sight. I'd rather listen to my kids scream for it all the way home than offend someone who was trying to be kind.
I don't know if I'd go that far. I think it's always okay to politely decline something. A big smile and a, "Oh, thank you so much, but he can't have that" is perfectly fine, IMO.

A lady in the grocery store tried to give my DS her half-eaten cookie once -- there was no way I was going to just smile and take it from her, and I don't think it was rude of me to smile and politely tell her no thank you.

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#14 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:35 PM
 
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It does surprise me in this day and age that an employee would offer a child a candy without asking the parent first. I have no doubt though that the employee had the best intentions.

I personally don't have a problem with the occasional candy for my DDs, but I do appreciate someone asking me if they're allowed first.

I remember working as a cashier at a local grocery store when they took away the candies and replaced them with stickers because of the negative reactions from parents.
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#15 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know she meant well and I was polite when I did explain to her WHY I didn't allow candy. I guess the part that irked me was when she said "Why" kinda like she was questioning my parenting decision KWIM? I guess I thought my answer should have been enough for her but maybe she really was curious, I don't know. No, my girls don't have allergies or anything of the sort, but still PLEASE ask the parent first before even suggesting it to the child.

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#16 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:42 PM
 
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I know she meant well and I was polite when I did explain to her WHY I didn't allow candy. I guess the part that irked me was when she said "Why" kinda like she was questioning my parenting decision KWIM? I guess I thought my answer should have been enough for her but maybe she really was curious, I don't know. No, my girls don't have allergies or anything of the sort, but still PLEASE ask the parent first before even suggesting it to the child.
I totally agree with you there. I didn't notice the "why" when I read the OP, but you're right that that's overstepping.

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#17 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KweenKrunch View Post
To be perfectly honest, I think it is very rude to decline a gift given with good intentions. If a pharmacist (if we used one) gave my children candy that I felt was inappropriate, I would thank them for it, take the candy, and discard it out of her sight. I'd rather listen to my kids scream for it all the way home than offend someone who was trying to be kind.
I've turned down offers like this many times. I'm polite about it. If someone is offended when a random stranger politely refuses an offer of candy made to their children, I think they need to rethink their view of things a little bit.

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#18 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:48 PM
 
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I don't know if I'd go that far. I think it's always okay to politely decline something. A big smile and a, "Oh, thank you so much, but he can't have that" is perfectly fine, IMO.
Exactly.

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A lady in the grocery store tried to give my DS her half-eaten cookie once -- there was no way I was going to just smile and take it from her, and I don't think it was rude of me to smile and politely tell her no thank you.
Did you post about that? I seem to remember reading that story here before.

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#19 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:53 PM
 
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Exactly.


Did you post about that? I seem to remember reading that story here before.
Probably -- I was fairly appalled when it happened. I could even see how it was wet on the edges where she'd bitten it -- blughhhhh. But I still managed to smile and murmur a, "No thanks, I'll get him one of his own."

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#20 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 02:56 PM
 
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Probably -- I was fairly appalled when it happened. I could even see how it was wet on the edges where she'd bitten it -- blughhhhh. But I still managed to smile and murmur a, "No thanks, I'll get him one of his own."
Yup - that was it. How...icky.

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#21 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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I think store employees should quietly ask you (the good ones hold it up just enough so you can see or point at it and raise their eyebrows - like "is this ok?" without the kids noticing) but her intentions were to help you. I think being offended or mad isn't really fair to the employee who is just trying to be helpful in what sounds like a challenging situation.

Honestly, whining kids who are rearranging the products isn't fair to the store employee who is going to have to fix it after you leave. I do think offering the suckers during the time you were trying to talk to the pharmacist instead of as you were leaving would have been more helpful - as I'm assuming her intent was to get the kids quiet and occupied so you could finish.

The only part of your story that would irk me is "rewarding" poor behavior with candy. During - to keep them busy - would have been ok with me except they are kind of young for something that has a choking possibility (plain M & Ms would have been better) but not after. After there is no point.
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#22 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 03:34 PM
 
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We're originally from Canada. I noticed a lot more of this kind of thing in the US. Our kids got a lot more random candy, free balloons, stickers and temporary tattoos in American stores and restaurants than Canadian ones.

Our kids don't get a lot of candy, but I am not beyond using M&Ms to buy five minutes of quiet occupation when we really need it. There have certainly been times when I was very thankful somebody offered a sucker or a juice box.

I do what others have suggested here.... appreciate that the person has no malicious intent, accept what they're offering, pocket the sucker or the candy if there's a particular reason the kids can't have it at the time, etc. I've certainly never lectured anybody on the evils of sugar or the hazards of choking.

I do appreciate it when people quietly ask me or DH before offering the candy, but I don't expect this.

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#23 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 03:36 PM
 
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I agree. It is okay to politely refuse, but good golly, to actually get offended by it? I am sure that the clerk was only trying to be nice.

But then, to be asked why was a bit over the top, IMHO. I would not have liked that one bit.

I guess I can see both sides of it.
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#24 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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See I actually love situations like this, because even though I woulda been irked by the "Why?" question too, I see these as opportunities to educate everyone on natural parenting!

You kinda said it, that you don't let your kids have processed sugars, which in this case is what I woulda said too. But I woulda gone on to say (in a very happy, lighthearted voice because I wouldn't have been upset) that as an employee in the medical health part of the store, she should think twice about offering children processed sugar candy, since it's so bad for them.

Yes, they like it, and it's a lovely gesture, but it's so bad for them!

Then I woulda thanked her for her kind intentions and been on my way... without the suckers in my possession.

And I don't worry about being seen as lecturing - in this situation, the store employee started the interaction. I would have been very nice to her because I think it's a nice concept, but I would still answered the above.
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#25 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 04:02 PM
 
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I agree. It is okay to politely refuse, but good golly, to actually get offended by it? I am sure that the clerk was only trying to be nice.

But then, to be asked why was a bit over the top, IMHO. I would not have liked that one bit.

I guess I can see both sides of it.
Yeah - this. Having people randomly ask me why I will or won't let my kids do/have something is kind of annoying.

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#26 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well guess what? I grabbed the "wrong kind" of fish oil tablets for my grandma (she is 92 and prefers a certain brand ) so back to Target I go either this afternoon or tomorrow morning. I will keep all this mind should I run into this type of situation

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#27 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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The most annoying thing about it is the way she asked why not?

Clearly you had to go and she was holding you captive. The way I feel today (bad day) I would have just turn and left.:
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#28 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 04:12 PM
 
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This is friend of mine whose daughter has severe food allergies and they are currently trying to raise money for a K-9:

http://lovebugsco.wordpress.com/cate...s-perspective/

While I understand it's a kind gesture, in today's world we teach our children not to accept candy from strangers. It doesn't matter if they are an employee at a store, they still are strangers and should be asking the parent's permission and if the parent says "No" they shouldn't be asking "Why?" and the "Why?" is what would offend me.
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#29 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh I can totally see why those parents would be on alert, though mine don't have any allergies, thank goodness!

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#30 of 187 Old 08-19-2009, 04:17 PM
 
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i would have done the same thing. Honestly, I understand that the person "means well," but it sets a bad precedent for the child. "If I behave like this, I will get rewarded with a sweet treat." Also, this is candy from a STRANGER. Don't we tell our children not to take things from strangers?

I am the parent. If you want to give my child something, you need to ask me first. What if the child is allergic to wheat, dairy, eggs, whatever? What if I don't happen to have my Epi-pen with me?

If I want my child to have this sweet treat, I will buy it for them.
I agree. I think there are many reasons why a stranger shouldn't offer food/treats to a child:
1) in situations like this, it rewards the child for acting out
2) children can be diabetic or have food allergies (as my child does), and the food could make them seriously ill
3) the family might have rules about treats, or the child may have just eaten something junky, or a meal might be coming up in a few minutes, or the parent may avoid HFCS/food dyes/etc. for health or behavioral reasons--any number of parenting choices might mean the parent doesn't want the child to have a treat at that particular moment
4) at the same time, if 2 or 3 is true, saying "no" makes the parent into the bad guy and escalates the situation between parent and child

My child is allergic to a laundry-list of foods (I don't think I've EVER forgotten her Epi-Pen, but still). She knows that she is NOT allowed to share others' food or to accept food from anyone other than mom, dad, and other family members. I'm not "offended" when someone offers her something, but I still wish they hadn't--it just makes dd frustrated, either b/c I'm saying no to something that looks attractive and because it reinforces for her that there are all kinds of treats that she can't have.
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