How would you react or feel about this?

Kate CP - posted on 09/10/2010 ( 24 moms have responded )

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This is a personal question, but I feel it's debate worthy. Apparently, my daughter is really really adorable. So much so that people, complete strangers, feel the need to give her stuff ALL the time. At the vet a man comes over and gives her M&Ms without even asking me. While shopping one evening a security guard gave her a package (a large one, mind you) of cookies on our way out the door. My husband and I were with her, each holding her hand when he stepped up and said "Have some cookies, honey." Didn't ask me, didn't even look at my husband or me, just handed the cookies over to my kid. Obviously she took them and we walked off. I was so floored by it I didn't say anything but I was pissed. Fast forward a few weeks and we're at the pharmacy. A woman comes over and says "You're so cute and you're being so good! Have some gum," and tries to hand my daughter a stick of gum. This time I jumped in because my daughter isn't allowed to have gum because of a dental appliance. I was polite and said "Oh, she can't have gum. She has a fake tooth." The woman looked at me, said "Oh. Okay." and walked off! Now, earlier this week we were at the zoo when a man and his wife just gave her a book. This time I thanked them and said it was very kind of them...but I'm starting to get a little pissed about this. I don't want to be rude to people and I also don't want to "be the bad guy" by not letting my daughter receive gifts but at the same time I don't want her thinking it's okay to just take things from complete strangers! How would y'all handle this?

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Krista - posted on 09/10/2010

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I'd find it weird too -- I don't even want people touching my kid without my permission, so I definitely wouldn't want someone giving him food or things. I think that all you can really do is screen out the inappropriate gifts like gum and whatnot, and otherwise, maybe when someone tries to give her something, say to her (right in front of them), "Honey, before you take something from someone you don't know, you need to ask Mommy or Daddy if it's okay." That subtly gets the message across to the adult that what they did was inappropriate, and it also teaches your kid to ask you first before taking stuff.

Melanie - posted on 09/11/2010

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O.M.G. IM TOTALLY SHOCKED THAT PPL ARE OFFERING A CHILD THEY DONT KNOW ANYTHING AND YOU'RE ALLOWING YOUR CHILD TO TAKE IT!!!
there is no way i would allow my child to accept anything from a stranger (ok the doughnut shop is fine...you know where it came from) if anyone offered my child food/toys whatever and i didnt personally know the person id politely explain to them that in this day & age kids need to be very careful of strangers & that my child is grateful but unable to accept their gift...big smile & walk away!!!
i could be compleatly paranoid but you never know if they've done something to the food (drugs or whatever)

Sharon - posted on 09/10/2010

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My oldest is that kid.

people just give him stuff. strangers give him money, I shit you not. he's a genuine, open kid and as a toddler he was friggen adorable. He was given candy, foods, money and more attention than any child needs.

You can't stop it. You can only educate. We really limited my sons' sugar intake for a while. We couldn't stop the gifts we could stop him from eating them right then.

I tried to keep him on track that because I was with him, it was ok to accept the gifts, like halloween.

The hardest part? Was when his little brother came along and then his little sister. they have both been given gifts by strangers in stores but never to the extent he did.

And he is still the golden child. All the other kids parents adore him, rave him about him, etc. he is the oldest but he gets asked to dogsit, plantsit, etc. He is just handed the keys to their homes even though the parents have only seen him a handfull of times. Its crazy. I love it, but its crazy!

hang in there babe. She'll outgrow this and you'll have a whole new set of crazy problems to deal with!

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Jacquie - posted on 09/12/2010

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I'm kinda with Melanie on this one... while I don't think anyone carries around poisoned gum, accepting food items from strangers is not the kind of thing I would like my children to learn to be okay with.

Stifler's - posted on 09/12/2010

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Oh people always want to touch my baby. We go places they're like HOW OLD IS YOUR BABY.. HES SO CUTE and pat him or play with him. It's really weird and I just smile and say nothing. But that is kind of a problem if they are giving her stuff lol maybe just tell her next time a stranger offers you sweets to say no thanks lol

Jess - posted on 09/12/2010

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We have had a few people trying to give Ava stuff, all of them have asked my permission first though. I think its odd how strangers want to give things to random children. It would never cross my mind to just give someone else's child something.

On the few occasion's were the item on offer has not been appropriate I just thank them for the offer and decline for whatever reason. I haven't found anyone to be put out by me declining their offer. Just be humble and honest about why your child can't accept their gift.

Kate CP - posted on 09/11/2010

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Tabitha: No, they're not less likely they are MORE likely. Family and caretakers have more access to your children and have more of a reason (compliance, get them to sleep/be quiet, etc) to drug your child than a complete stranger. A complete stranger drugging random children just doesn't happen.

Let me clarify that she has never eaten anything given to her by a stranger. I intercede and take the item away. She never has a problem with me taking the items from her. I just don't see the point in being paranoid and thinking that the little old lady who offered my kid a lollipop had just dipped it in kerosene. What would be the point in that? Why would some one even think to do that? The point of drugging a child is to get them to be compliant not to just send them on their merry (intoxicated) way. It just makes no sense to me.

Johnny - posted on 09/11/2010

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This happens to my daughter all the time. I just want to say, "you do realize that she is 2 and you are offering her chewing gum, right?" It is mind boggling. I only allow it when it is at a food service establishment and it is something that she is allowed to eat anyway. But it is great a Chinese New Year when little old people are giving away envelopes. She did well on that this year, although it is a bit of an adjustment to learn to accept strangers on the bus giving your kid money. Many ask her birthday, for horoscope reasons, and when they find out it was 08/08/08, she gets double. It is nuts! But as for food from strangers, no way, no matter what. I just politely thank them and tell them that she does not eat whatever it is they are offering. And I must say that I am shocked that there are still old ladies walking around with lint covered mints in the bottom of their purses. I thought that had died out.

ME - posted on 09/11/2010

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Unless its a sucker at the bank or a cookie at the bakery, I politely thank them and say no...this happens to me with Miles occasionally too...people just like to make little children smile...

Tabitha - posted on 09/11/2010

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im pretty sure ur childs grandparent i less likely to put druugs in there grandkids food than a stranger would. a stranger is WAY more likely to drug the candy or watever.

Tabitha - posted on 09/11/2010

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omgosh if someone tried to do that with my kid i would be like no, but thank you to everything. no stranger is going to give my daughter any candy or food of any kind and no stranger is going to give her any other things either cus u dont know those people or where the food/toys/clothes have been.

JuLeah - posted on 09/11/2010

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My daughter was this cute and people gave her stuff.... still do.
I would speak for her as parents do when teaching their kid what to say. "Baby, say, 'Wait, I have to ask Mama"
That always stopped folks and made them look at me.
Now, she is older and just says, "I have to ask my Mama"

Kate CP - posted on 09/11/2010

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Yea, I think you're being paranoid. Why would some one carry around a piece of gum that was drugged just to give it to a child who is being accompanied by their parent? In truth the people who drug children most frequently are usually family members or care-takers, not complete strangers. I'm not worried about the items being drugged or laced with something, I'm more concerned with the fact that they aren't even asking me and giving my child junk food.

Joanna - posted on 09/10/2010

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We don't run into this too often, but whenever I go to the donut store, the little lady who owns it gives Paige a giant donut every single time. Starting when she was 1 or so, I'd run in and get myself a donut in the morning, and she'd just give me a giant pink donut for Paige, too, which of course I'd end up eating. Now whenever I go I don't even get myself a donut, I get a couple donut holes for her to have, and then I eat the giant pink donut meant for my 3 year old.

I wish I would have the balls to say something to someone though. They have no clue what the parent/child's food/nutrition preferences are, so I consider it rude to just hand over stuff directly to the child without asking.

Kate CP - posted on 09/10/2010

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So far she's been really good about giving anything to me that she gets. She never actually got the cookies because right after the man handed them to her I told her that I had to hold on to them and maybe she could have them later. I tossed 'em and she never said a word about them. She was okay when I told the lady she couldn't have gum. Actually, she looked at me and said "Mommy, I don't like this tooth. I want to take it out."

Amie - posted on 09/10/2010

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I'm actually quite surprised anyone would offer a kid anything without asking the parent first.

All of my kids have been offered treats of one sort or another. Senior's especially like my kids. The ones we've ran into have always been kind and kept their distance until I gave the go ahead.

I'd be choked if someone (stranger) attempted to give one of my children anything without my permissions. I don't care what it is.

Other than that though, I see no issue with children accepting treats of any kind. So long as the parent is asked and you've approved. It's no big deal. Teach your kid manners and to not throw a fit if they can't eat or play with the treat right then, it'll all breeze by fine.

Meghan - posted on 09/10/2010

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This happens to J all the time too. I found it weird when he was younger (and maybe a little bit still) but now I take it as a way to teach him manners. I make a big deal and say "wow that was really nice, what do we say when someone does something nice for us?" "Thank you lady" (that was the most reason one). Plus, the other positive is she just got a new toy or treat that YOU didn't have to pay for :)

Julie - posted on 09/10/2010

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LOL @ Teresa. We are in the same boat. People have ALWAYS been remarking how cute/well behaved my son is but, aside from a waitress giving him the $0.07 change, he has been given nothing. I'm not sure how I would react as it seems rather random to me.



I think it is good to start teaching your child NEVER to accept anything from strangers unless their parent says it's ok first. Then you can teach "thank you".



The more I think about it, the more I find the "gifts" a bit on the creepy side. I guess I just don't see the draw to giving a complete stranger's child a gift ... especially if there had been no other interaction.

Caitlin - posted on 09/10/2010

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I'd be pissed.. but my daughter has food allergies, and if anyone handed her food without my permission, i'd be incredibly pissed and give them an earful, i've already intercepted a few kids trying to "share" their snacks with her. People don't think. I don't even like people touching my kid, let alone giving her things. A book is fine, I guess, but only if i'm asked first..

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Darn it! I run into all the 'cheapies', don't I? Everyone has always said how cute all my kids are and don't get anything! lol, sorry couldn't resist.

Seriously, I have no clue how to handle it. I'm so extremely unconfrontational that I probably wouldn't say/do anything.

C. - posted on 09/10/2010

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Ok, not sure why when I posted this several minutes ago, it gave me a blank post, but Ok.. Not the first time it's happened, either. Getting rather annoyed.



Anyway, people are like that towards Liam sometimes. It's nice, but at the same time that I don't want to teach him to be rude and ungrateful, I also don't want to teach him to take everything from total strangers. And it WOULD be nice if they asked every time they wanted to give him something, too. This is a tough one for me.

?? - posted on 09/10/2010

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Gabe gets things given to him a lot. He's too young to understand what is really going on, but I always interject. If the thing they're giving him is inappropriate I say so, if it's not I always tell him to say thank you.

I take it from their hand or his, depending on if they handed it to him and he took it or not. More often than not I get a comment about how nice it is to see a parent teaching their child manners before the child can even speak - which makes me worry about what kinda rude children they're coming in contact with.

So far it's mostly been bouncy balls, lollipops and fruit so nothing really to worry about, but I always speak up when a stranger tries to hand him something.

One time a lady (at my MIL's work) asked if he could have gum when he was about 18 months and I looked at her like she was crazy and asked if she was serious... she kinda nervously laughed and said "I guess he is a lil young isn't he."

Kate CP - posted on 09/10/2010

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She's only 4! But people constantly think she's just a small 6 year old. :/

Sharon - posted on 09/10/2010

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Oh, and really inappropriate things like gum?

How old is she?

if she's really small still I'd try to intercept the adult like you did, but if you can't, then swap the item with a lollypop in your purse. it may be a good idea to keep a baggy in there now full of them to get away the other inappropriate items people may hand her.

And I forgot to mention.... most of the time people asked me if it was ok to give him things. but the few times they didn't, it drove me nuts.

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