Thursday, February 23, 2017

Stop being a mean mom! Buy your kid a toy! ($50 Gift Card Giveaway)


During a recent trip to the red shirt-big box store, I noticed an inordinate amount of children crying. This made me sad, because I have been there. I had three kids under the age of three and tried to make it in and out of the red shirt-big box store with everyone's dignity intact and very rarely succeeded. Honestly, though, I was even more sad for the kids, because kids hate shopping, yet they get dragged along and most likely told, "I'm not going to buy you anything."

How many times have we done this? Have you ever stopped to think how incredibly mean and unfair that is? We made our children get up, get ready, stop whatever they had going on at home, maybe playing toy blocks, battling their action figures, coloring, or emptying out your makeup drawer in the tub. Then, we drag them to the store, parade them in front of a million amazing, multi-colored, life-changing, delicious, and attractive items and then say, "I'm not going to buy you anything."

We've all said it. We've all done it. Of course, your kid is going to be grumpy and uncooperative in the store.  Doesn't it make you grumpy and uncooperative when you can't get anything?

Recently, my husband and I took a trip to San Diego. I wanted to check out the shopping bizarre in Old Town. From the pictures on the website, it looked amazing, multi-colored, life-changing, delicious, and attractive. I said,

"Husband! I want to go to there!" He said,

"I don't want us to spend any more money. Do you still want to go?"

"HA! No!" I snorfed (That's a mix of scoffing and snorting).

"Why?" He asked.

"Why would I want to torture myself? Why would I want to parade myself in front of a million amazing, multi-colored, life-changing, delicious, and attractive things that I can't have?!"

See my point? So, why do we expect our little ones to be cool with the idea of going to the store and not getting anything? It's not fair. And, frankly, it's mean.

The more reasonable scenario is; we have a conversation with our kids before we get to the store. Let them know where we are going, why we are going, how long we will be there, and the kind of behavior you expect from them, and, finally, what they can expect for their cooperation.

My contention is that they get at least one thing, just for going. Just because they are two-years-old, doesn't mean that they didn't already have a plan for their day, for which they are foregoing to be your companion at the store, and, for the fact, that they are too young to be left at home alone, but that's not the point.

Perhaps, a negotiation for two things can happen when they meet or exceed your expectations of good behavior while shopping. My tiny niece always negotiated for "two tings." One ting was not quite enough to inspire her cooperation or pleasant attitude, she required two tings. Which was stinking adorable, and, now, years later, we still joke that she needs two tings whenever she goes to the red shirt-big box store.

Now, you may ask, "Annie, doesn't it spoil the kidlets to get them something every time you go to the store?" I don't know. Do you get something every time you go to the store? Are you spoiled?

Or, "Annie, I can't afford to get my kid something every time we shop." Then, why are you shopping if you can't afford it?

Now, I wouldn't just preach to you or call you mean and then not offer anything in return. Remember, I've been there, I had three kids under the age of three.

There is another way to avoid the crying fits in the red shirt-big box store. There is another way to spare the family dignity. It's an amazing, multi-colored, life-changing, delicious, and attractive thing called online shopping at Diapers.com. And, I have an amazing, multi-colored, life-changing, delicious, and attractive gift card to share with you, in the amount of $50 dignity-sparing dollars! They have way more than just diapers. Everything kid and kid-related.

To enter to win the $50 gift card,  leave a comment, any comment. You can share your shopping with children strategies, share your shopping successes or failures, share what "two tings" inspire your kids cooperation in the store, or how online shopping has spared your family dignity.

A winner will be chosen by random drawing and notified Friday, March 3rd.


This giveaway is in partnership with Nakturnal, and includes a prize of a gift card for $50 to Diapers.com. I have received compensation for this post, but all opinions and content are my own.




30 comments:

  1. Blind bags are a good way to satisfy the little ones need to get something while at the store. Which means I can get out of the store with no meltdowns for under $5 that is as long as she doesn't want two tings.

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    1. Bling bags. I'm going to have to check that out.

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  2. Uh, I buy my kids stuff. I just do! I love making them happy! But if they utter a word of complaint, act like a psycho, or lick the cart, they forego the fun! And, now that I have two not-so-little children who find ways to generate their own income, they have loved earning, saving, and mindfully spending their own cash!

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    1. Yay for little money makers! "Mindfully spending." I like that kind of talk.

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  3. I let my daughter choose a small item for herself at the end of our shopping trip to ensure she cooperates with me.
    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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    1. Congratulations, Kelly! A very scientific method of pulling names out of a hat was conducted and you won our drawing! I will send your e-mail along with a e-mail to our sponsor and they will give you instructions on how to claim your $50 gift card! Thanks for entering!!

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  4. I love to treat my kids to a toy or treat every once in a while! In fact, I use my "red-shirt big box store" perks on a free toy almost every time. My kids are getting to the age where they don't have to go with me to the store, so I feel like them willingly agreeing to come is a treat. I'm not above bribing them to do anything ��

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    1. Funny, you mention that, Kim. I bribe my teenagers to come with me, just because I want their company. It's a different era.

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  5. I don't really care about the gift card but I will share that I disagree with you on this. I'm not opposed to buying my kids things when we are out or just because. I buy them things when they ask sometimes. But I don't buy them something every time we shop. And to respond to your question of why are you shopping if you can't afford it? Because I can afford groceries, but I can't afford to buy a toy every time I buy groceries. Duh. Sorry, but duh. Food is necessary, therefore I go buy it. My kids are young, so they must come.

    But I'm far from mean. I treat shopping, any kind of shopping, as a fun outing. Maybe we will have time to go look at the cool Legos! (Not buy. Look. They like just looking at the fun pictures.) Or maybe I will let one walk and help get things off the shelves! Or maybe we get to go play on the toys at the mall. (My kids don't need them even turned on. They just like sitting in the cool cars and pretending to drive them.) Or maybe we plan to go to a playground afterwards! Maybe I got lucky that my kids like to go out and do things. Or maybe I just do it enough that the expectations are there. And they do get rewards, but they don't have to cost me anything.

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    1. It sounds like you did get lucky! Good for you! Thanks for commenting. I don't mind commenters that disagree with me. Glad you stopped by. Maybe my next post will be more to your liking.

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  6. When my kids were small (4 under age 6) they had to go the store with me as did my day care kid. Usually it was because my husband was working or in class. If I had to go to the store, it was for groceries. I tried to go after they were in bed, but shopping at 11:00 at night isn't fun or easy. I didn't have the money to buy them toys or goodies-their treat for going to the store was that they got to eat lunch or dinner.
    It didn't kill them to be told no. Sometimes they would cry when we were in the store but it was usually because one of their siblings smacked them, not because they were told no. Or it was because they were tired, or just crabby. Sometimes I'd cry in the store too...
    No, I do not get something for myself when I go to the store. Groceries don't count! I don't get a candy bar or book or cd everytime. I'd be so broke!
    My kids learned that sometimes you have to just go to the store and gets what's necessary and that you have to budget your resources. As they've gotten older, they've learned the value of being able to determine the difference between a want and a need.

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    1. I couldn't agree with you more. In fact, I remember going to the store with my parents when I was little. I would ask for things and you know what they often said? "No." Am I worse for the wear? Not hardly. I think I learned to budget and plan financially better than my husband did, who brought a lot of debt with him when we got married. (Which debt is one of the reasons that no, I cannot buy toys every time I go shopping. I'm trying to pay down the debt and simultaneously build an emergency savings stash. That's expensive.)

      I just can't get over her line, "why are you shopping if you can't afford it?" Because I need to eat. My kids need to eat. We all have to wear clothes. We need light bulbs and toilet paper and toothpaste.

      But I learned the value of money and I learned to save and plan and budget. I learned that sometimes we have to do things we don't like. I learned that you can still choose to put on a smile and have a good attitude, even if you would rather be doing something else. I learned that we don't always get what we want. I learned not to be greedy.

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    2. Sandi- You've got great kids!You're a tremendous mom! The want and need lesson is definitely an important one. Thanks for stopping by!

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    3. Anon- I specifically mention "toys" because it was a stipulation in the paid blog post that I do, but my feeling is actually, just a little something (treat, sticker,balloon, water canon), whatever it is they enjoy, just for being there, being them, being your companion.

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  7. Ugh! This can be so frustrating! My 6 year-old is the worst, as he is always coveting some new Lego set. I try to prep kids before we go into the store..."okay, we are going in to get some diapers and some paper towels but we are not getting any toys or treats. Understand? Are you going to throw a fit when we go in and you ask to buy something and I say know?" Great! It's all about expectations....but also I try to avoid toy sections or bringing them at all!!

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    1. Preparation and Expectations, way to go, Brenna. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for entering!

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  8. I have shopped at Diapers.com before and love it. I love how easy and convenient shopping online is and I love that the deliveries come so quickly which makes it a great option instead of venturing out to the store which can get chaotic. Thanks for the chance.

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    1. I'm glad you hear you like Diapers.com. Online shopping can be a lifesaver for moms! Thanks for commenting and entering the drawing!

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  9. I enjoy window shopping, and most of the time when we are shopping and my kids ask for something, it gets put on their birthday or Christmas list. I take a picture of it with my phone, and then they know I won't forget what the item of their little dreams was.
    I do sometimes buy a small item like a matchbox car, or a dollar coloring book. And more often, what they will get is a treat in the form of a snack or something.
    I would love to buy the kid with me something every time, but the older (but still young) kids that are in school always get a little bit upset when they get home and find the youngest has a new toy and they get nothing. I am trying to educate them on the inequalities and unfairness of life, but they still get upset.
    That said, if parents want to buy (or not buy) something for their kids every time, that is their prerogative. To each their own, and they can live with whatever the consequences happen to be.

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    1. Heff- That tip about taking a picture of the item they want is a great one. That way they know you really heard them and are taking their request seriously. I've done that with Mini Me!
      You're a great mom, Heff! I can't believe how big your kids are now. We started out in the blogging world together a long, long time ago. It feels like another galaxy. Right, Friend?

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  10. Or, "Annie, I can't afford to get my kid something every time we shop." Then, why are you shopping if you can't afford it?

    Because nudity and starvation are frowned upon.

    I'm just having a hard time getting past this because it feels like you are judging and shaming moms who are trying to do their best. I wish I could afford a new shiny toy for every child with every outing. But I can't. But I can try to offer my kids empathy and compassion. I can love them. I can care for them. I can teach them. I can do my best. Don't get all judgmental just because I can't buy a new toy every day or fun vacations like you. We don't all have that luxury. If you want to buy something for them to get them to behave, fine. Go on and you do you. I won't even judge you for it. I might envy you. But I won't shame you. Can you offer me the same?

    Can't we be supportive and encouraging of each other instead of writing blog posts about how other moms are mean for not buying stuff for their kids just because they had to go to the store?

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    1. I don't think Annie was suggesting that you get your kid a toy every time you step foot into a store. I think she's suggesting that we don't say no just for the sake of saying no.

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    2. “The more reasonable scenario is; we have a conversation with our kids before we get to the store. Let them know where we are going, why we are going, how long we will be there, and the kind of behavior you expect from them, and, finally, what they can expect for their cooperation.

      My contention is that they get at least one thing, just for going…

      … Now, you may ask, "Annie, doesn't it spoil the kidlets to get them something every time you go to the store?" I don't know. Do you get something every time you go to the store? Are you spoiled?

      Or, "Annie, I can't afford to get my kid something every time we shop." Then, why are you shopping if you can't afford it?”


      Isn’t she? I mean, if that's really all she meant then I would agree with it and yes, it is mean and unfair to say no just for the sake of saying no. That's rude and it shows a mom with a power trip. But that's not what I got from her post at all. I’m seeing that she’s suggesting that you give your kid something every time you go to the store to bribe them to be good. That’s fine. If moms want to do that, more power to them for finding a way to go shopping in peace with happy kids. But then she shames moms who don’t do that, calling them mean and unfair. Then she attempts to mollify us by throwing a gift card at us. Well thanks, but no thanks.

      And to those that suggest going shopping when Dad is around, well some moms don’t have that option either. Military wives, wives whose husbands work long hours or have to travel extensively for work, etc. And if I can’t afford a prize for each and every shopping trip, you can sure bet I can’t afford a babysitter every time either. Sometimes kids have to go shopping with their parents. And sometimes those parents can’t afford bribery. What a crime.

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    3. Anon- I'm not trying to shame moms or start a mommy war. I'm just using rhetoric and humor to attract commenters so I can give some stuff away. That's all. Sorry if it triggered you.

      Thanks for stopping by all the same. Maybe my next blog post will be more to your liking.

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  11. My 5 kids under 7 years old at one point (3 under the age of 2 at the time) most definitely always got a treat at the store. The bribing didn't always work and we still had screaming most of the time, but yes if my kids went to the store with me they always got something to snack on while we shopped...fish/animal crackers, favorite candy, and my youngest always picked a package of chocolate or powdered donuts! If I wasn't desperate for groceries and I didn't want to buy treats then I would go to the store when Daddy was home. Though I do think that we shouldn't judge the screaming kids and their Moms, because she may have offered a treat and sometimes it just doesn't work for that grumpy toddler who wouldn't be happy no matter what he's offered...I had one of those too;)

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    1. Stacey- I had a magical moment of pushing a crying baby in a stroller with two crying toddlers holding on to the sides. Yep! That was the last time I went to the red shirt-big box store unaccompanied. Don't miss that era. Thanks for stopping by and adding your comment!

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  12. Throw the gift card at ME, please! I'm the meanest damned mom you'll ever meet! I get called "mean" dozens of times daily! I deserve that gift card! I EARNED it! Throw it at me! Throw it HARD!

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  13. I hear what you are saying, Annie. Being a kiddo is kind of hard sometimes. You don't understand why things are the way they are, and no one wants to explain it.
    For the people saying that kids don't need to be bribed, yeah I get that. Maybe the better word is included. Let them be included in the process. If toys aren't in the budget, maybe they can help with the menu planning and putting the ingredients for their special meal in the cart. They get some control of their life and you get help with the dreaded meal plan.

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  14. Thank you, everyone, for your honest and constructive comments! I love being able to give free stuff away. I hope you will keep reading and entering! Kellyr78 was our winner this time. Congrats, Kelly!!

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