How Can You Deny Your Kid Plastic Crap?
Readers throw the book at me over Eli's book swap.
John, another veteran parent, tells a story of a birthday alternative gone awry. When his daughter was 5, he and his wife talked to her about how little use she got from the presents she'd gotten at her last birthday. "She was open to a do-gooder type of party," he said. Asked for a good cause to support, she picked the David Suzuki Foundation. John continues:
"She drew a handmade invitation and we scanned it and printed out the custom invites with a request for her guests to do a few chores for their moms and dads in exchange for some small change and bring the money (less than $10 please) to donate at the party. Most of the parents didn't get it or couldn't be bothered, we got a stack of $10 cheques in addition to a complete set of the usual crappy toys-r-us plastic objects. Ah well, live and learn and don't fight convention too hard, eh?"
The story ends well: John's daughter sent in her donation, and Mr. Suzuki invited her to appear on stage with him at an event nearby, which the local paper picked up, with a front-page photo.
I would end on that sweet note, except I have to include this one-line email from Samuel:
"I look forward to your children discovering ayn rand in their rebellious stage."
Emily Bazelon is a Slate senior editor and writes about law, family, and kids. Her forthcoming book, Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Empathy and Character. Find her at email@example.com or on Facebook or Twitter.
Illustration by Robert Neubecker.