To bank tellers, store clerks and post-office-counter workers:
Don’t ask my children if they want candy. And while you’re at it, and even though it’s far more appropriate, don’t ask me, in front of the children, whether they may have candy.
If it were 1931 and candy were a rare treat I couldn’t afford, it might be cool to get free candy. But candy is cheap, and my children don’t need more.
My children are not deprived of sweets. We have baskets full of Easter candy, stockings full at Christmas, Valentine’s candy, birthday treats, and fat pillowcases at Halloween. I realize that another lollipop isn’t going to tip the scales. But the 13 grams of sugar and Red No. 40 aren’t the only issues; it’s also about the message it sends.
When my 6-year-old daughter slammed the minivan door on her fingers, and I took her to urgent care, I thanked the receptionist who asked me whether she could have a lollipop, and I gladly accepted. But when the children’s only accomplishment is standing in line to watch their mother buy stamps, they don’t need a treat for that. I don’t want them thinking that candy is something you eat all the time. I don’t want them eating treats that, seconds ago, they were fine without, but now that it has fallen in their laps, they suddenly want.
Candy-givers, I know you mean well. But you risk taking well-behaved, happy children and turning them into crabby children on a sugar rush, or discontented children who feel like they’re missing out because mom said no to the free sugar.
The ubiquitous candy bowls and offers of treats are wearing on me. Please, make it stop.