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Your Brat Makes Me Feel Like a Bad Mom

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The Mediocre Mama: I thought I threw the perfect party -- until your kid screamed at me.

girl leaving party saying i want my damn goodie bag

"I. Want. My. Goodie. Bag!"

This is what your three-year-old screamed out as we wrapped up what I thought was a successful party. Hell, there was the bouncy house, the cake, even arts and crafts. I kept it small so the tykes could enjoy the festivities without being overwhelmed. Was that not enough?

To be honest, I hate goodie bags. A plastic non-biodegradable sack filled with utterly useless cheap toys and candy that kids absolutely don't need after a party filled with pizza, cake and ice cream -- I'll pass. I made the decision to forego the unnecessary crap sack and instead offered kids the chance to bring home a craft they made themselves.

But that wasn't good enough.

Who can blame your kid? Not me. In this day and age, kids are invited to parties every freakin' weekend -- even those of schoolmates they barely know. And at each of these parties, they're handed this mystery junk bag -- it's like a "time to go home, kids" signal, like a last call for little ones. So when our party was wrapping up, she just assumed she'd be leaving with a parting gift.

Kind of makes you wonder -- are kids just spoiled brats now? Or did I drop the goodie bag ball?

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52 comments so far | Post a comment now
omgimacheermom October 8, 2008, 4:22 PM

Are you kidding me? I my opinion the fun at the party IS your treat for attending. I’ve done treat bags and some years not, but it depended on how much I was putting into the event. (Renting out the community swimming pool…no treat bags vs. small party at home…treats & crafts for everyone!) I want my kids to understand that everything comes with a price and is not just “bestowed” upon them.

madrehijos October 8, 2008, 4:45 PM

Goody bags are a waste of money and the junk just ends up in the landfill. They’re cheap toys that most parents throw out quickly, unless you are thinking usable items like chalk, crayons, etc. that you are sure kids will use. I have 2 kids, and I absolutely hate when they come home with cheap goody bag toys. It is so detrimental to our environment to continue this practice. The only times I have given goody bags is when they are included with the party we have rented. But I agree with others, we have entertained kids, taken them to bouncy house places, lazer shooting places, skating, wall climbing. That’s a boatload of money we’re spending on each kid, and they get the experience we paid for. And our children get the experience of playing and celebrating with their friends.

Gloria October 8, 2008, 5:39 PM

It’s been awhile since I have had a child’s birthday party, but and I have to reassure you I am not into spending big bucks. Any type of party is going to run at least 100.00 dollars I figure for kids we are speaking about here. Not older kids either, because they will eat you out of house and home. Food for a party could be kind of expensive, it all depends on what you want to serve, you can order pizza and do soda. You can have hot dogs, hamburgers and soda, and that will run up in costs with all the extras, condiments, chips, paper dishes etc. Parties are not cheap, I remember working in a upscale toy store where most of the clients were well off, (not my situation). The toy store used to make up party give away bags, it used to make me sick. I can’t understand why there has to be so much grand standing. Is there really a need to give so much? It is really confusing, on many levels because some reports say don’t give too much candy and treats to kids. The people that give candy out don’t really pay any attention to all the nay sayers. I personally would go to the dollar store, pick up a inexpensive party bag, for little kids it’s not hard to find something kids can know this is a goodies bag. You can put some stickers and some goldfish individual bags, and one piece of chocolate that is on sale in the stores in the bite size pieces.The other items that you can buy in party stores I agree with you also, they are really not necessary, they are simple pieces made in China that will eventually find there way to the garbage. My point although, is that the “party bag” is a favorite. Kids expect them, especially after they have been to high end parties with parents that are paying very high prices for their kids and friends entertainment.

Kristi October 9, 2008, 10:10 AM

Are you kidding me? “If you don’t give them out, not only will the kids be upset, but the parents will be miffed that they have to deal with an upset kid.” Deal with it! If your kid goes to a party and comes home whining that they didn’t “get something” to take home perhaps you need to take a moment to teach them that it’s not always about them! Sometimes we give things without expecting anything in return. Sometimes we give things just because we love and care for someone and we want to express that to them. Teach your children not to be greedy selfish.

Denise October 9, 2008, 1:00 PM

I think that is greedy and if the parent does and says nothing then you know where it comes from.

AK Mom October 9, 2008, 3:08 PM

I would’ve just told the kid that “not all parties give out goody bags, some do and some don’t and from our party you got make to a fun project and take it home with you”

Goodies are Grrrreat! October 9, 2008, 3:56 PM

Wow there is too much goody bag angst. Some of the most fun toys as a kid are those cheap toys. Maybe your kids just pretend to hate them because they know you do. Or perhaps your kids think you’ll be mad at them if they like them. I bet you don’t realize the tone you take with them, talk about picking up bad habits.. or best known as learned behaviors. Kids are smart, more than they are given credit for. But anyway, since we are talking about being spoiled here..look at all the toys there are for kids to choose from today..seems like some moms have taken a whiff of the snooty booty…”Oh no! Cheap, crappy toys, what will the PTA think ?!” Personally, I like cheaps toys that are bad for the environment but perfect for collages and other cool crafts. Got to go..on my way to the landfill to drop off some of these comments.

Missy October 14, 2008, 2:28 PM

I like giving out goody bags, I think they are fun and I usually don’t put cheap toys or candy in them. I usually find nice toys that will fit. The only gripe I have with them is that some stupid parents will put hard candy in them, then hand them out to their 2 year old and all his friends!!! Those are the ones I have to confiscate and toss, which throws my son into a screaming fit. Um, choking hazard, anyone?

Emily October 25, 2008, 9:24 AM

All i have to say is “shame on those parents!” To have their THREE YEAR OLD scream something like that. Is it not obvious that that child is used to being spoiled?
I would just take it with a grain of salt. Giving a goodie bag should NEVER be REQUIRED of anyone. Do we not spend enough money on food , games and entertainment?!
My daughter is having a Hannah Montana party for her 7th bday coming up. Little does she know , mom and dad are on a VERY tight budget. (i’m doing it all for about $80.)
Yes, i am planning on giving out goodie bags but guess who’s making them? White paper bags , a picture of Hannah Montana printed off the internet and 2 $1.00 packs of sequines from joann fabrics and “tah dah! , you go girls!! have at it!” I say.
I’m doing a couple other crafts to fill their bags up (making their own body glitter , microphones and picture frames to keep with the theme.) Between a party of 12 girls i’m only spending $25 on the goodie bags. if i couldn’t do it on a budget i wouldn’t!
As far as sending upset kids home with their parents to deal with it , oh well! If their child is so upset that they didn’t get anything maybe the parents should take that opportunity to sit down with their kids and nicely explain that they always don’t have to get something out of everything they do. To many kids these days find material things as the only reward. What ever happened to just having fun for the fun of it?

Debbie November 4, 2008, 10:31 AM

I used to do the goodie bags. Some do, some don’t. Every party can be different and that is OKAY. Maybe we should let kids know that it is ok to have different kinds of parties, with or without Goodie bags!!! As an adult I’ve met adults that didn’t even have a party or a cake for that matter growing up!!! These days people can take it too far. Just do what you like, you can’t please everyone!!!

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Grey September 27, 2009, 11:57 PM

Honestly, this year was the first one where the birthdays included more children than our own.

Our son is four now and this was the first year that we had friends with kids to invite, sadly.

However, while we did give each of the kids like five tokens for the games where we had the party, we did not give out goody bags.

Children, especially young ones, have little in the way of expectation unless they are first promised something. I get the impression that the little ‘brat’ at your party may have been given some kind of hint that she would be receiving a goody bag.

This may have been an unconscious comment by her parent,and may have even occurred days before the party. Once the spark has been flung though, it takes little breeze to start that fire.

My son remembers things he was asked on his birthday which was in April, and he is already thinking about what he wants to do for his next birthday based on what he liked and did not.

The little ones soak in everything. blame the parents, hon, not yourself.

It is nice to give out the goodies, and sometimes expected in adult gatherings. But it should never be assumed, or taken for granted.

What does this teach our children?

I think you went out of your way by providing multiple activities, including one that left no child without something to take home. :)

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