HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >

Discussion

Is this really acceptable in the U.S.?

While my sister and her kids were up here (Canada) from Seattle, we went to the Science Centre; her 2 year-old insisted she wanted a carton of white milk then, after it was opened, changed her mind. My sister wanted to exchange it for chocolate saying that it wouldn't be a problem at all at home (she couldn't because they were out of chocolate). Is this really true? I can see it if it was unopened or spoiled but not if my child simply changed her mind.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. 1) i've never seen that done here in the US.
    and
    2) i never would have complied with my child's desire to change her mind on the issue.

    7 Replies
          1. re: westsidegal

            Yes, what westsidegal said. Also in agreement with GH1618 downthread. When your sister said "it wouldn't be a problem at home", she clearly meant her own home, right?--the place where she can parent oddly without affecting others' health?

            Out of curiosity....did you intervene and say in a stage whisper "Stop it you're embarrassing me"?

              1. re: westsidegal

                Is the child otherwise spoiled rotten and overly entitled? I'd be mortified if somebody at my table tried that nonsense.
                <common practice in Seattle>- Riiiiight- as in "kindly do not question the strange ways of my people".

                1. re: EWSflash

                  No, she's the sweetest thing ever! She wouldn't have even raised a peep if she'd been told that she couldn't have anything else.

              2. No, an exchange would not be expected. I think the parent is wrong on two scores: first in asking for such an unreasonable thing; second for indulging her child.

                2 Replies
                1. re: GH1618

                  I'll add a third wrong: giving chocolate milk to a small child under any circumstances.

                  1. Sorry, but I must have been dozing, when I read the post.

                    Are you saying that you opened a container of milk, and then wanted to exchange that for something else?

                    Obviously, I mis-read, or just missed something.

                    When a package of food has been opened, regardless of who changes what, I cannot imagine anyone taking that back (exception might be corked, or spoiled wine), and replacing it with anything else.

                    Please help me to wake up, and understand that how far off I have gotten.

                    Hunt

                    28 Replies
                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      No, wasn't me but my sister who wanted to do so. I thought she was out of her mind but she said it was common practise in Seattle—that customer service was so much better that they would do anything to make sure that you were happy.

                      I was just relieved that they were out of chocolate so we didn't have the inevitable scene when they wouldn't let her exchange it.

                      1. re: Jasz

                        <common practice in Seattle>

                        Perhaps it's a common practice in Seattle in *her* home, *her* universe.
                        Seattle's overall business customer service is no different than anywhere else in the country.

                        1. re: Jasz

                          I have lived in the Seattle area my entire life. Never, under any circumstances, have I seen or experienced what your sister represents as normal practice in the greater Seattle area. Bizarre indeed, and something I could never imagine doing. Or even thinking about doing.

                          1. re: jlhinwa

                            Sounds like the sister has a distorted sense of entitlement and yes there will be merchants that will indulge her with the customer is always right mentality. That's just a business decision they make.

                            1. re: scubadoo97

                              This was my thought exactly. Most people will not take advantage of merchants in this inappropriate way, but there is a small segment whose sense of entitlement is so overdeveloped that they don't even question taking advantage of others in this way.

                              1. re: Cachetes

                                Yes! Entitlement was the word I was looking for in my earlier post. The sister is teaching her child entitlement.

                          2. re: Jasz

                            <so we didn't have the inevitable scene when they wouldn't let her exchange it.>

                            What type of 'scene' is it? I'm curious how far she'll go to enable her child.

                            1. re: latindancer

                              yes, this is the point, even with a 2 year old, that you say, "you picked this, drink it or not, but this is what you are having. Next time you can choose chocolate" (assuming that's generally allowed).

                              1. re: DGresh

                                Right.

                                I've watched parents of 2 year olds actually become nervous & horribly anxious when they think, for a second, they're not doing everything possible to make their child happy.

                                1. re: latindancer

                                  While there are certainly ALL types of parents, I also just like to try not to judge parents too harshly, especially if you don't know them. At some point in time you might have been talking about me.
                                  We're lovingly firm with our son and have lots of clearly defined boundaries which we stick to, and knock on everything, we also have a pretty great kid. But he's still a kid, not yet 2 years old, and for instance, this past week he was getting over a cold that had him not sleeping, started a new daycare, and his adored grandparents who he was used to seeing every other day, left town for 3 weeks. Our awesome kid turned into a volatile sleep-deprived time bomb and if anyone observed me in the grocery store, or at the drycleaners last week, they might have said exactly what you just wrote about me. Because sometimes, yeah, you're just trying to keep them happy and get through your errands without being the parent of the screaming, screeching demon-spawn that everyone is desperately trying to avoid and get back home to a safe environment where you can turn up the radio, pour yourself a glass of wine and get back to ignoring the previously scheduled melt-down already in progress.

                                  1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                    Granted, hyacinthgirl, my situation was different than parents who worked. I didn't have the added responsibility of a job,
                                    I understand what you're saying and there are billions of times, when raising my children, that the nearest plane to Jamaica, alone, sounded like the perfect remedy for the exhaustion nobody told me I'd be facing.
                                    All I'm saying is that the sister with the milk situation is, undoubtedly, creating a situation with her child that can possibly, come back to bite her in the ass and hurt her child in the long run. Your situation, with a child who feels not up-to-par (I was there too) and you're trying to get things done quickly isn't going to hurt anything or anyone. It's the mother who, day in and day out, enables their child and lets them scream their bloody guts out in front of everyone because they don't get their way, without doing anything about it, is the one I'm referring to.

                                2. re: DGresh

                                  Absolutely correct, DGresh! This is a perfect learning experience for a child...even 2 year olds can think about simple choices, and having to accept the consequences!

                                  1. re: josephnl

                                    "...even 2 year olds can think about simple choices, and having to accept the consequences".

                                    You're not around a lot of 2 year olds, are you?

                                    1. re: linguafood

                                      Yeah, I looked twice at that one, too. But MOST 2 year olds CAN accept the word "No" gracefully if they have been taught to.

                                      1. re: linguafood

                                        really? I raised two that are no longer 2 years old, but yeah I can remember. And if they yell, we get outa town so to speak. But mine didn't.

                                  2. re: latindancer

                                    As a current parent of an almost 2 year old, and someone who has now observed a fair amount of kids at that age, I do know that different kids go through different stages right around the 2year mark and some of those can include extreme tantrums. There are lots of parents who are very firm with their kids, and do all the advised sticking to what they say and ignoring the tantrum, but it can take a kid a few months to really get the message that this throwing themselves on the floor tactic isn't really working out the way they'd hoped.
                                    Being that they were out in public, I can understand how a parent might choose in a special circumstance to avoid a meltdown before it occurred by exchanging the milk (esepcially if the other option would include having to cut a rare vacation/family day short or if there were no easy way to get back to a safe place in time), so I wouldn't judge the mother's choosing to give in to the child's fickle-milk-mind in this instance.
                                    Now, I'm also not saying she shouldn't have PAID for a new milk.

                                    1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                      Fair enough. But I agree. She should just pay for it.

                                      1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                        <different kids go through different stages right around 2 year mark>

                                        Of course, and as you say, every child is different.
                                        I've raised two children, now adults. Both of them are well adjusted, successful, mannerly, kind and generous. All I have to offer to this is that if either one of them began the 'meltdown' in a store where other customers deserved an environment that *wasn't* where a two year old screaming their head off, they were promptly removed from the situation. Immediately with a casual, "if you don't stop now we're leaving and we're not going to the park". The crying stopped when they realized they weren't getting anywhere with the attention and we (their choice) weren't going to the park. A few times with that lesson and it didn't happen anymore. Too many parents, as I see it, try and reason with the child and talk to them like they're an adult friend. The child learns to have the upper hand and off to the races they go. In my opinion, with this sister, the moment she recognized the problem she should have *not* given in to the child. If the child began the meltdown she should have left, immediately with child in hand, quietly and calmly like an adult.
                                        Just my two cents.

                                        1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                          I don't think the OP posted about the child's behavior so much as the sister's, who seems to have a history of self indulgence and maybe making stuff up, from OP's dubiousn asides.

                                          I don't think firm parents ignore tantrums, I think they try to help their children regain control in the situtation, and if that doesn't work, pick them up and remove them so they can quiet themselves with help, free of an audience and feeling out of control in a public place.

                                          Sometimes, you just have to get up from the table or out of the store, not with anger, with calm, to help a child, even a 2 y.o., regain composure. Sometimes it's impossible and you have to do what's best for the child (and the public!) and just go home.

                                          1. re: mcf

                                            From what I know of my niece, she wouldn't have thrown a tantrum. She would just have refused to drink the milk (she actually loves plain milk but wants it in her bottle—I won't ask if that's suitable for a 2 year old as this isn't a parenting forum). She would have been fine with not getting anything else either—it was my sister who wanted to exchange it, not the wee one insisting on something else to drink.

                                            1. re: Jasz

                                              That makes your sister's behavior even more baffling to me! When you said you were glad you were able to avoid the "inevitable scene"- does your sister generally demand to get her way and have an inflated sense of entitlement?

                                              1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                Not in other matters but both my sisters think that if they buy something and aren't completely happy with it that they are entitled to return it no matter what. My other sister once returned a more-than-half eaten fast-food burrito when here saying it wasn't as fresh as those she gets in San Antonio. I try to steer clear in these circumstances.

                                                1. re: Jasz

                                                  I think that's where I'd just go wait in the car so no one thought I might possibly be related to or friends with someone like this.

                                                  Then I'd call my parents and ask them what they did to the sisters to make them like this.

                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                    My theory: Our parents had a restaurant that we all worked at for various times and I think that they saw what "those" customers would get away with and decided to emulate it. I just went the opposite.
                                                    Interesting note: Both sisters often complain about "poor" customer service while I'd be hard-pressed to think of more than a half-dozen examples in my life—and funny enough, all those places have since closed down.

                                              2. re: Jasz

                                                yes, I think it's clear in all your posts that your sister's the issue here, not her child.

                                              3. re: mcf

                                                yes, this isn't about the kid, if anyone has ever tried to rationalize the behavior of a toddler (or for that matter an adult with a severe mental illness) you'll know the futility of that approach. it's not about the chocolate milk, it's about the expected return policy and the painful lesson in not indulged whims.

                                          2. re: Jasz

                                            I live in Seattle, and NO, places wouldn't let you do that.

                                            1. re: Jasz

                                              It sounds as if the translation might be "they'll do anything to get you to leave their shops."

                                          3. The original comment has been removed
                                              1. re: wyogal

                                                And why does the OP even care if they live up there in Canada?

                                                    1. re: wyogal

                                                      'Cause you seem really really smart....?