Author Topic: Is this pushy? Say it or leave it?  (Read 4535 times)

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Knitterly

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Is this pushy? Say it or leave it?
« on: August 23, 2013, 10:29:50 AM »
To give a bit of background, I thoroughly dislike my brother in law, Bill.  That may be colouring my response to what might actually be a perfectly fine response on his part.  I don't want to be pushy, but I'm annoyed with him.

Mr K and I are planning a little birthday party for Little Knit (I cannot believe she is almost 2).  We're putting together little treat bags for each of the kids. Because there's a really small and reasonable number of kids, we're doing little personalized gift bags for each kid.  Each bag will contain a small book, toy, and food treat.  Each bag will be appropriate to the preferences of the kids.

Now, Bill and his wife (Happy) are pretty strict with their kids sugar and treat intake.  Keeping this in mind, I sent Bill and Happy an email asking what I could put in the kids bags.  I explained that we're doing individual treat bags with a toy, book, and a piece of candy or food treat that each kid would like.  "I was wondering if you could give me some ideas for what kinds of food treats each of your kids would be able to eat."

I would have thought the line "would be able to eat" would have been fairly self-explanatory that I'm not looking to give the kids random candy, but want to put something in there that they can eat.  Something that is in keeping with their healthy lifestyle.  Something that's not necessarily candy or sugar.

I got back a response that the kids don't get food treats.  That's it.  The kids don't get treats.

First of all, that's patently untrue!  They had birthday cake and homemade popsicles when we went over for Younger Nephew's birthday a few short weeks ago.  Birthday cake with icing.  And sugar.  A sugary treat if you will.

I am thinking of replying, but don't want to be confrontational or pushy.

What I am thinking of saying is:
"Hi Bill and Happy,
Mr K and I completely respect that you prefer to really keep the kids away from sugary treats and candy.  I was actually hoping for some direction on something they can enjoy.  We're trying to keep the goodie bags small and personalized, so is there even some special piece of fruit or non-sugary treat that each of them would enjoy?
Of course, if you really prefer no treat at all, we will respect that.
Thanks
Knitterly"


TurtleDove

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Re: Is this pushy? Say it or leave it?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2013, 10:36:56 AM »
I think he already answered your question: the kids don't get food treats.  Just put something else in their bags that is not food, like stickers or a yo-yo. I wouldn't push the issue - he already answered.

MrTango

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Re: Is this pushy? Say it or leave it?
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2013, 10:39:24 AM »
With that response from Bill, I'd pick up the phone and call Happy.

I don't like dealing with having to clarify things by email when a phone call is usually easier.

mspallaton

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Re: Is this pushy? Say it or leave it?
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2013, 10:53:19 AM »
If he said "food treats" then I think he understood what he was answering.  If that wasn't a direct quote and he just said "treats" or candy or something similar to that then I might reach out to clarify either by phone or e-mail.  It may be harsh, but you said they were pretty strict.  It's possible they changed the house rules after an incident you didn't hear about or something (kids got sugar high and wrecked up the house maybe?).  Or they could be in the middle of a punishment, but not one so severe they take social time away.  It just seems like, if they are strict, that there could be a lot of reasons that they definitely meant no food treats even if the kids got them in the past.

Perfect Circle

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Re: Is this pushy? Say it or leave it?
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2013, 11:25:55 AM »
I agree - I think he was pretty clear on the no food treats front, so just put something else in their bags. If the bags are personalised that should not present you with a big problem.
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NyaChan

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Re: Is this pushy? Say it or leave it?
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2013, 11:30:57 AM »
Is it possible that they are trying to avoid teaching their kids to see food as a reward?  I think you can respond and ask what substitute he would prefer for his kids' bags.  As in, "Bill,  I am putting X in the other kids' bags.  What would be an acceptable substitute for your kids? I can put in an extra toy or stickers if you would prefer."

Knitterly

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Re: Is this pushy? Say it or leave it?
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2013, 11:57:47 AM »
If he said "food treats" then I think he understood what he was answering.  If that wasn't a direct quote and he just said "treats" or candy or something similar to that then I might reach out to clarify either by phone or e-mail.  It may be harsh, but you said they were pretty strict.  It's possible they changed the house rules after an incident you didn't hear about or something (kids got sugar high and wrecked up the house maybe?).  Or they could be in the middle of a punishment, but not one so severe they take social time away.  It just seems like, if they are strict, that there could be a lot of reasons that they definitely meant no food treats even if the kids got them in the past.

Maybe.

Maybe I'll just leave it and do stickers without saying anything at all.

If it's a punishment, it's a heck of a long one, as the birthday party is a month away.

They do eat sugar.  They go out trick or treating every year and they ate birthday cake not 3 weeks ago.  I completely understand the limited sugar thing, though.  I understand that Bill and Happy try to keep snacks healthy.  That's the whole reason I asked for direction on what would be appropriate.  You know, something like organic chocolate or a carob bar.  Honey sticks instead of pixie sticks.  Fruit leather instead of candy bars.

There are so many healthy alternatives to candy that it's really really irritating me that he has just flat out said "no food treats" in a birthday goodie bag.  It's irritating me because I flat out know 100% for certain that they do so(!!) get food treats.  I also know that Bill and Happy prefer to really limit the candy, etc.  I'm annoyed because I want them to get the same kind of treat that all the other kids are getting, but within the boundaries that I know Bill and Happy set for them.

I know it annoys them when they get candy bags from other birthday parties.  So here I thought "Hey, I'll be all respectful and nice and stuff and ask for an alternative for the food treat."  It feels like it was just kind of spat back in my face.  Because they do so get food treats.  I have watched them eat food treats.

General consensus:  Would it be pushy to send a follow up email asking about some specific type of organic treat (like honey sticks or organic sesame snaps)?
I guess the fact that I'm wondering sort of tells me that the answer is probably yes. 

Goosey

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Re: Is this pushy? Say it or leave it?
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2013, 12:00:12 PM »
Is it possible that they are trying to avoid teaching their kids to see food as a reward?   I think you can respond and ask what substitute he would prefer for his kids' bags.  As in, "Bill,  I am putting X in the other kids' bags.  What would be an acceptable substitute for your kids? I can put in an extra toy or stickers if you would prefer."

This - I know a lot of people who are trying to avoid food as positive reinforcement with their kids. He wasn't the clearest, but I think that's what he's telling you - he doesn't want food in their bag.

SCMagnolia

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Re: Is this pushy? Say it or leave it?
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2013, 12:10:12 PM »
I think I would be a little more concerned with each child at the party getting different things in their treat bags.  Surely some kid is going to see what some other kids has, decide they want that and not understand why they didn't get it, and then it's all-out-war.

Best thing to do in a case like this is to give all the kids the same stuff.  The only exception would be something more age-appropriate for smaller children if you are including toys or candy with small parts or pieces.  If the parents don't want them to have something, then it's up to the parents.  You are going to drive yourself crazy trying to cater to everyone else's whims for your own kid's birthday!


wolfie

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Re: Is this pushy? Say it or leave it?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2013, 12:21:38 PM »
If he said "food treats" then I think he understood what he was answering.  If that wasn't a direct quote and he just said "treats" or candy or something similar to that then I might reach out to clarify either by phone or e-mail.  It may be harsh, but you said they were pretty strict.  It's possible they changed the house rules after an incident you didn't hear about or something (kids got sugar high and wrecked up the house maybe?).  Or they could be in the middle of a punishment, but not one so severe they take social time away.  It just seems like, if they are strict, that there could be a lot of reasons that they definitely meant no food treats even if the kids got them in the past.

Maybe.

Maybe I'll just leave it and do stickers without saying anything at all.

If it's a punishment, it's a heck of a long one, as the birthday party is a month away.

They do eat sugar.  They go out trick or treating every year and they ate birthday cake not 3 weeks ago.  I completely understand the limited sugar thing, though.  I understand that Bill and Happy try to keep snacks healthy.  That's the whole reason I asked for direction on what would be appropriate.  You know, something like organic chocolate or a carob bar.  Honey sticks instead of pixie sticks.  Fruit leather instead of candy bars.

There are so many healthy alternatives to candy that it's really really irritating me that he has just flat out said "no food treats" in a birthday goodie bag.  It's irritating me because I flat out know 100% for certain that they do so(!!) get food treats.  I also know that Bill and Happy prefer to really limit the candy, etc.  I'm annoyed because I want them to get the same kind of treat that all the other kids are getting, but within the boundaries that I know Bill and Happy set for them.

I know it annoys them when they get candy bags from other birthday parties.  So here I thought "Hey, I'll be all respectful and nice and stuff and ask for an alternative for the food treat."  It feels like it was just kind of spat back in my face.  Because they do so get food treats.  I have watched them eat food treats.

General consensus:  Would it be pushy to send a follow up email asking about some specific type of organic treat (like honey sticks or organic sesame snaps)?
I guess the fact that I'm wondering sort of tells me that the answer is probably yes.

There is a difference between "we give our kids food treats" and "other people give our kids food treats". Just because they do A doesn't mean they have to allow B. And it seems like that is pretty much what they decided.

Olympia

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Re: Is this pushy? Say it or leave it?
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2013, 12:39:55 PM »
I think I would be a little more concerned with each child at the party getting different things in their treat bags.  Surely some kid is going to see what some other kids has, decide they want that and not understand why they didn't get it, and then it's all-out-war.

In my experience, treat bags are usually handed to each child as they leave. There just isn't an opportunity for comparison.

Oh Joy

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Re: Is this pushy? Say it or leave it?
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2013, 12:45:05 PM »
I appreciate that you're trying to create a wonderful party, but please step back from this issue.  It doesn't matter what other choices they make or how they phrased the decline; what matters is that they declined.

Best wishes.

SlitherHiss

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Re: Is this pushy? Say it or leave it?
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2013, 12:46:14 PM »
BIL has already given a very definite answer. You really need to respect his wishes. Period.


ladyknight1

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Re: Is this pushy? Say it or leave it?
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2013, 12:55:52 PM »
I think I would be a little more concerned with each child at the party getting different things in their treat bags.  Surely some kid is going to see what some other kids has, decide they want that and not understand why they didn't get it, and then it's all-out-war.

In my experience, treat bags are usually handed to each child as they leave. There just isn't an opportunity for comparison.

I concur with Olympia.

I would ask Happy if the kids can have organic fruit leather. I think that BIL gave a off the cuff remark without thinking. Especially since you know that the kids eat sugar on at least an occasional basis.

Perfect Circle

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Re: Is this pushy? Say it or leave it?
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2013, 01:02:24 PM »
I would leave it alone now. The OP asked a question, got an answer she didn't particularly like, but that doesn't mean she should go and ask someone else for a different one.
In all this talk of time
Talk is fine
But I don't want to stay around
Why can't we pantomime, just close our eyes
And sleep sweet dreams
Me and you with wings on our feet