Questions about Children in Grocery Stores Asking for Things

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Aspie1
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27 Mar 2010, 4:02 pm

This thread is directed largely at young adults ages 18 to 30, with no children of their own, and a regular income earned on one's own (be it work wages/salary, stocks, disability payments, or unemployment insurance). I fit into that category, by the way. Whether you have your own place or live with your family doesn't matter. With the demographic disclaimers out of the way, on with the question.

Let's visualize the following. You're walking through a grocery store on a peaceful weekend afternoon. You just had a good night's sleep and a big filling breakfast. The store is busy but tolerable. You're getting items on your list, plus getting a few extra ones. You're slightly absorbed in your own thoughts, yet manage to remain perfectly aware of your surroundings. Suddenly, you're jarred back to the harsh reality by this dialog you overhear.
"Mommy/Daddy, can I have some Fruit Roll-Ups?"
"No, we're not buying them."
"Please."
"No!"
"But I really like them."
"No! You're not getting them!"
<crying>
"If you don't stop, we're going home right now!"
<more crying>
"That it! You're getting a time-out when we get home, and no dessert tonight!"

You tune out the rest of the conversation, pick up a bag of gummy worms that you had a craving for, and go about day. Now, confider the following questions.
1. What's your take on this scenario you just witnessed?
2. Did you find it hard to watch? Why?
3. What you you think is going through the child's mind at that moment?
4. What you you think is going through the parent's mind at that moment?
5. How do you feel about the fact that you can pick and choose whatever you want, but that child has to depend on his parents' wishes?
6. How do you feel about the fact that not too long ago, you were in that child's place?
7. Do you feel sympathetic toward that child?
8. Have you felt compelled to somehow verbally reassure the child?
9. Have you felt compelled to say anything to the parent?
10. (Any other question you wish to add.)

I'll answer my own questions in the next post.



League_Girl
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27 Mar 2010, 4:18 pm

You tune out the rest of the conversation, pick up a bag of gummy worms that you had a craving for, and go about day. Now, confider the following questions.

1. What's your take on this scenario you just witnessed?

Them being good parents and not giving in.

2. Did you find it hard to watch? Why?

No. I can ignore it.

3. What you you think is going through the child's mind at that moment?

She is upset she didn't get what she wanted.

4. What you you think is going through the parent's mind at that moment?

They don't like their kid's behavior and I bet they are embarrassed.

5. How do you feel about the fact that you can pick and choose whatever you want, but that child has to depend on his parents' wishes?

I am so glad I am an adult now and can make my own choices and I have my own money.

6. How do you feel about the fact that not too long ago, you were in that child's place?

I was very angry and upset.

7. Do you feel sympathetic toward that child?

No. Not really.

8. Have you felt compelled to somehow verbally reassure the child?

No

9. Have you felt compelled to say anything to the parent?

No

10. (Any other question you wish to add.)

Was it hard to answer these questions and visualize how you would feel?

My answer: Yes.



pat2rome
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27 Mar 2010, 4:24 pm

Pretty much exactly what League_Girl said, except for #6. I'm glad I was in that child's situation before, because now I get all happy when I can buy myself ice cream or things like chocolate fudge Pop-Tarts. :lol:


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Aspie1
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27 Mar 2010, 4:30 pm

1. What's your take on this scenario you just witnessed?
I think it would happen a lot less often if parents would simply keep things in perspective. One box of Fruit Roll-Ups a week is not going make the parents go bankrupt, except for families that have low income and/or limited government aid, in which case, buying it would be a bad idea.

2. Did you find it hard to watch? Why?
Yes, definitely. Seeing that child brought back a lot of unpleasant memories of growing up.

3. What you you think is going through the child's mind at that moment?
"I guess my happiness isn't worth the $2.79 this box of Fruit Roll-Ups costs."

4. What you you think is going through the parent's mind at that moment?
"I'm trying to get my shopping done here, and my kid keeps bothering me with useless requests; it's not like I'll buy it." (parents on here, sorry if you're offended, but that's how I feel.)

5. How do you feel about the fact that you can pick and choose whatever you want, but that child has to depend on his parents' wishes?
I see it as my reward for having gotten through nearly two decades of having no power in the family. Hey, I spent nearly sixteen years of not being able to buy what I want, until I got my first job. Now no one will stop me from buying what I want.

6. How do you feel about the fact that not too long ago, you were in that child's place?
I always saw childhood as some sort of life hazing ritual where you have to spend time living with no control over your life, before you're given control of your life. Like in question #5, I made it through childhood with my sanity in decent shape, now I get to enjoy freedom.

7. Do you feel sympathetic toward that child?
Before I started getting a regular income, very much so. But in later years, just a little. After all, I had to live through all that, and I really, truly appreciate the freedom to buy whatever I feel like. He/she won't appreciate it as an adult, if his/her every childhood wish is granted.

8. Have you felt compelled to somehow verbally reassure the child?
In my younger, more naive years as an early teen, I might have, but never acted on it. Maybe I became hardened over the years or money just corrupted me, because I now think it's best to let nature runs its course, so to speak.

9. Have you felt compelled to say anything to the parent?
No. Since they're the ones in charge, interfering won't do any good. If anything, they might even tear me a new one (verbally, obviously), or call security and get me in trouble.

10. (Any other question you wish to add.)
Not me. I think other nine questions were good enough.



pat2rome
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27 Mar 2010, 4:54 pm

It's about more than just money, though. If they gave in to their child just because they were pouting and crying, then that child is going to figure out that by doing so he can walk all over his parents. He won't have the motivation to behave at all, since misbehaving is what gets him what he wants. If the treats are withheld unless the child behaves, they become an incentive to behave.


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League_Girl
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27 Mar 2010, 4:59 pm

pat2rome wrote:
It's about more than just money, though. If they gave in to their child just because they were pouting and crying, then that child is going to figure out that by doing so he can walk all over his parents. He won't have the motivation to behave at all, since misbehaving is what gets him what he wants. If the treats are withheld unless the child behaves, they become an incentive to behave.



Yes, it teaches them to manipulate and then it's harder to teach them when they are older because they have developed that bad habit. So it's best to teach them when they are young before they get into those bad habits.

Even us adults can't always get what we want. Even if we have money. Sometimes something is too expensive or we have upcoming bills or upcoming Christmas shopping, etc.



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27 Mar 2010, 5:02 pm

Can parents chime in? I have a five-yearold (autistic), and those situations do occur.



Willard
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27 Mar 2010, 5:02 pm

1. What's your take on this scenario you just witnessed? Its inept parenting. There's no reason that should have elicited a crying jag in public.

2. Did you find it hard to watch? Why?
I always find seeing other people's dirty laundry being aired in public embarrassing and uncomfortable.

3. What you you think is going through the child's mind at that moment? Who cares? Not my kid, not my problem - precisely why I shouldn't have to listen to it.

4. What you you think is going through the parent's mind at that moment?
Again, Who cares? They're an idiot who doesn't know how to communicate with their child. I may suck at communicating with adults, but I can find a child's level pretty easily, and its not hard to get them to understand if you're reasonable and honest with them.

5. How do you feel about the fact that you can pick and choose whatever you want, but that child has to depend on his parents' wishes?
Non Sequitur. Apples & Oranges.

6. How do you feel about the fact that not too long ago, you were in that child's place?
Its been nearly forty years since I was in that child's place. I do recall clearly what it was like, but its irrelevant now.

7. Do you feel sympathetic toward that child? Nope. Fruit Roll-Ups are not a life or death necessity. They'll get over it.

8. Have you felt compelled to somehow verbally reassure the child? Not. My. Child.

9. Have you felt compelled to say anything to the parent? No, I feel compelled to get the hell away from this noisy redneck trash as quickly as possible as their racket is rapidly raising my anxiety level.



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27 Mar 2010, 5:11 pm

What's your take on this scenario you just witnessed?
Great, another screaming brat I have to listen to. :roll:

Did you find it hard to watch? Why?
No, but I find it hard to listen to.

What you you think is going through the child's mind at that moment?
"If I scream real loud then maybe my parents will buy it for me!"

What you you think is going through the parent's mind at that moment?
"I swear, if we weren't in a crowded grocery store, I'd beat this kid's ass right now."

How do you feel about the fact that you can pick and choose whatever you want, but that child has to depend on his parents' wishes?
Doesn't bother me in the least. I'm not a child, and my parents pretty much don't care what I want to purchase.

How do you feel about the fact that not too long ago, you were in that child's place?
Actually, I was a very well-behaved child. I never threw fits in a grocery store; or at least I rarely did.

Do you feel sympathetic toward that child?
No.

Have you felt compelled to somehow verbally reassure the child?
No.

Have you felt compelled to say anything to the parent?
"Please tell your child to shut the f**k up". :lol:


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27 Mar 2010, 6:01 pm

1. none
2.no, somebody eleses problem field
3. I dont
4. Idont
5. nothing
6. no
7. no
8. no
9. no
10. no


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Janissy
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27 Mar 2010, 6:13 pm

Where the parents went wrong was not in denying the fruit rollups. It's perfectly legitimate to deny them. Where they went wrong was in blowing a gasket and getting angry and in punishment mode. They could have stood their ground and denied the fruit rollups calmly, not angrily. I've done it both ways, as many parents have. In my best moments I denied the (whatever it was) calmly, non-angrily, and with an explanation. In my worst moments I got angry. The goal is to stay calm and not get angry and explain why (an age appropriate explanation). Or even no explanation. Sometimes over-explaining is its own problem.

But buying the kid whatever they ask for whenever they ask for it is not a good idea. Like League Girl said, it creates a demanding child who tantrums if they don't get their way. As an adult, you actually can't buy whatever you want. You are limited by your money. If you are wise, you are also limited by what you know is a wise choice. You buy a bag of Gummy Worms. You don't buy 30 bags even though you have enough money in your wallet.

I agree that something went wrong here, but I don't agree that what went wrong was refusing to buy the Fruit Rollups.



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27 Mar 2010, 6:23 pm

1. What's your take on this scenario you just witnessed? I would agree with Willard and say inept parenting.
2. Did you find it hard to watch? Yes Why? I don't do well around a screaming mother.
3. What you you think is going through the child's mind at that moment? Really wanting that fruit roll up.
4. What you you think is going through the parent's mind at that moment? I can't be bothered putting aside a $1.99 or less for my child.
5. How do you feel about the fact that you can pick and choose whatever you want, but that child has to depend on his parents' wishes? I suppose good. But I don't just buy candy when I want. It's a rare treat.
6. How do you feel about the fact that not too long ago, you were in that child's place? My mum never refused to buy me a little piece of candy, but I do like that I'm not being more bossed around by a parent than that child.
7. Do you feel sympathetic toward that child? Yes.
8. Have you felt compelled to somehow verbally reassure the child? Sometimes I feel like buying something for them and slipping it to them without their parents seeing.
9. Have you felt compelled to say anything to the parent? Usually I'd want to tell a parent not to hit their kid, but seriously it's a cheap treat just buy it for them.
10. (Any other question you wish to add.) Nah, I'm good.

I disagree with that ALL children would think they can walk all over you if you buy them a treat. I think my mum was smart by not letting it get to the situation where I scream and cry for something. Maybe she had enough experience from my older siblings, so she wanted to avoid it happening with me. I see parents that yell, scream and hit their kids as very young and inexperienced mothers that can't communicate with their children properly. Of course I'm still a bit of a child and my mother has never been a strict traditional parent.


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27 Mar 2010, 6:25 pm

Aspie1 wrote:
4. What you you think is going through the parent's mind at that moment?
"I'm trying to get my shopping done here, and my kid keeps bothering me with useless requests; it's not like I'll buy it." (parents on here, sorry if you're offended, but that's how I feel.)

.


It isn't offensive. It's just incredibly incomplete. A parent has to do far more than get the chores done. That's the least of a parent's job. A parent has to guide a child's behaviour towards the appropriate and a parent has to safeguard a child's health. Neither of these goals can be met if you buy the kid whatever junk food happens to catch their eye in the grocery store. And buying them the junk food (or toy or whatever) because they started to cry when you denied it? That is such a bad idea that you don't need to be a parent to see what an incredibly bad idea it is. Even from a non-parenting distance it's obvious that creates a spoiled tantrumer.



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27 Mar 2010, 6:59 pm

If I cried for something in a store, I got a whipping (by mom, with a flyswatter) when I got home. If I had a meltdown in the store over it, I got a whipping (by dad, with his belt) there on the spot.

So I learned to have my meltdowns in private, but that wasn't exactly a good thing, as they got very bad when I was in college--property destruction and self-injury.



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27 Mar 2010, 7:20 pm

Aspie1 wrote:
1. What's your take on this scenario you just witnessed?
I think it would happen a lot less often if parents would simply keep things in perspective. One box of Fruit Roll-Ups a week is not going make the parents go bankrupt, except for families that have low income and/or limited government aid, in which case, buying it would be a bad idea.

It sets a bad precedent though. If you aren't authoratative about small issues, the child will push the boudaries as far as possible and the longer this goes on, the harder it will be to set limits.

Quote:
2. Did you find it hard to watch? Why?
.


I would find it hard to watch, but mainly because I would be embarrassed to recall any time I acted like this as a child (not often in public- my mum wouldn't have stood for it).

Quote:
3. What you you think is going through the child's mind at that moment?
"I guess my happiness isn't worth the $2.79 this box of Fruit Roll-Ups costs."


Depends on the age of the child, but I doubt any kid juvenile enough to throw a temper tantrum over not getting sweets is thinking that sophisticatedly. It's probably more a case of "bad mommy. Mommy's a big meanie" etc etc. And the second he forgets/ mommy does something nice, she'll be back to being 'good mommy'.

Quote:
4. What you you think is going through the parent's mind at that moment?
"I'm trying to get my shopping done here, and my kid keeps bothering me with useless requests; it's not like I'll buy it." (parents on here, sorry if you're offended, but that's how I feel.)


You're right, the parent probably is busy with the groceries. But to be honest, buying the roll-ups for the kid would be a lot simpler and quicker than trying to reason/cajole/discipline them.

Quote:
5. How do you feel about the fact that you can pick and choose whatever you want, but that child has to depend on his parents' wishes?
I see it as my reward for having gotten through nearly two decades of having no power in the family. Hey, I spent nearly sixteen years of not being able to buy what I want, until I got my first job. Now no one will stop me from buying what I want.


I agree with you on this one. If you earn your money, you get to chose what you do with it.
Quote:
6. How do you feel about the fact that not too long ago, you were in that child's place?
I always saw childhood as some sort of life hazing ritual where you have to spend time living with no control over your life, before you're given control of your life. Like in question #5, I made it through childhood with my sanity in decent shape, now I get to enjoy freedom.


Again, I agree.
Quote:
7. Do you feel sympathetic toward that child?


No, I don't feel sympathetic at all. This is a learning experience everyone has to go through.

Quote:
8. Have you felt compelled to somehow verbally reassure the child?


No, never. Firstly, parents don't appreciate strangers approaching their children. Secondly, when I was 3 or 4, old people (i.e. anyone over 10) were a different species and talked a different language.

Quote:
9. Have you felt compelled to say anything to the parent?


Hell no, you're asking for an earful of abuse there!

10. (Any other question you wish to add.)
[/quote]

If you were the parent and that was your kid, would you buy him/her the roll-ups?