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DS "won" worst Chanukah grab bag prize....
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amother






Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 12:05 pm
I hate when this happens. DS's teacher sends a note home to parents to send in a wrapped Chanukah gift, around 5 dollars for a grab bag. She even had the kids know before whom they were getting so perhaps they would purchase something that suits that particular kids personality.

So I shop, buy something cute, as does most of the parents.
We had almost 2 weeks notice for this.

What does DS end up with? A package of plain pens. Ten of them They cost 99 cents.

DS said that kid got a 5 dollar gift certificate to a local pizza store.

DS was devestated. Crying. I explained to him that things are not always fair, and sometimes in life there are disappointments, but my bigger issue is with the parents-

Why wouldnt they put some thought and effort into trying to make sure that the recipient of their kids gift would be happy? I know the kids in the class though that the pens were "dumb" and that kid might have felt bad as well.
Why dont parents think???????
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amother






Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 12:10 pm
Maybe they don't have any $$$?
Maybe they are very disorganized & they remembered the night before and that's all they had in the house that was new?
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MiamiMommy









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 12:13 pm
Seriously, I don't understand why schools do things like this! Someone is always disappointed and/or left out! There are so many other options!
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Mirabelle









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 12:14 pm
This is why it's better if you don't know who has who.

My daughter's class did this, but we were just told to buy a present approx $10 and wrap it and bring it in. Then they had all the kids give the presents to the teacher and then the teacher numbered the presents and each kid drew a number.

I have no idea who gave the present that DD got.
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freshie









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 12:19 pm
Things like that always happen.You did the right thing by using it as a life lesson for him. You can also tell him that he should try and be in the shoes of his friend who probably was so embarrassed and it must have been very hard for him. This could also be a time to teach him good Middos by rewarding him if he acted indifferent about it and make him really feel for the other kid and by not causing other kids to make fun of him.

The issues you have should lie more with the school the the parents. Such things are bound to happen either due to finances or uninvolved parents. Not every parent is like you who worked on this for 2 weeks and very involved. I really despise this whole competition and advocating for kids to be judged by money and parents involvement. Schools need to stop this sort of thing it is very bad for the under-privileged children and encourages snobbishness
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BeershevaBubby









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 12:21 pm
As someone who ALWAYS gets the short end of the stick with these types of things (and I learned my lesson so I don't participate any more), call the teacher AND COMPLAIN.
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Tamiri









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 12:31 pm
As mentioned, this may have been a parent for whom a $5 grab-bag gift seems over the top and/or they simply can't afford it. While I am not in the "can't afford it" bracket at this time, I am not impressed with a teacher who requires that for a grab bag. It's not right. I think max a dollar-store gift is in order, to prevent just this type of thing happening.
In any given class, you have your "rich" parents for whom a $5 pizza certificate is nothing. Then you have your "average" parents for whom $5 seems over the top but they want to fit in, so they spend that amount. Then you have the "average" frugal parents who buy a gift that looks like it cost $5 but they got it for $2.99 at amazing savings because they think spending $5 on a grab bag is insane. They may even get a better bargain than $2.99, depending on how well they shop and/or what they have stashed in the closet. You have the dizzy parents who may be rich, average or poor who don't read notices from school, or don't remember what they read, and at the last minute, just throw anything in a bag (package of pens?) and send it with their kids. And then, you have parents who really can't afford anything extra and who are embarrassed on occasions like this and see an unopened package of pens that was meant for their kids, so they send that in. The whole business is not nice.
I feel sorry for your son and he is right to feel slighted, but I think it's the teacher's fault.
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yo'ma









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 12:34 pm
Okay, a pack of pens for a 5 yr old is not that exciting, but you can try to make it exciting and not agree with your ds. You could have empathy for him, but don't say it is lousy. Maybe give him a pencil case or let him decorate it somehow. We did that, with pencils, but still, for my ds b-day party. We wrapped a pipe cleaner around and attached feathers on top and added googley eyes. Or even just give him a pad of paper and tell him to practice writing his name or whatever. I can't think of anymore right now, but when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
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Fox









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 12:37 pm
freshie wrote:
The issues you have should lie more with the school the the parents. Such things are bound to happen either due to finances or uninvolved parents. Not every parent is like you who worked on this for 2 weeks and very involved. I really despise this whole competition and advocating for kids to be judged by money and parents involvement. Schools need to stop this sort of thing it is very bad for the under-privileged children and encourages snobbishness


Thumbs Up

I can't even count the number of times I was probably the equivalent of the pen-contributing mom! The possibilities boggle the mind: the note was stuffed in the child's backpack or coat pocket, only to emerge at 10 p.m. the night before . . . the parents are overwhelmed by work and simply didn't have time to find the perfect $5 gift . . . perhaps they can't afford the $5 (there have been plenty of times when $5 just wasn't available to me!) . . . the list goes on and on.

That said, there are a couple of points to make to your son:

1. Perhaps this is hashgacha pratis -- and we just don't know yet! Perhaps he will desperately need a pen sometime soon, and he'll realize that Hashem provided a whole pack of pens for him!

2. This is a great opportunity for your son to be m'vater. Although he theoretically "deserved" a gift consistent with the other kids, he can give up that entitlement in order not to make another child (who contributed the pens) feel bad.

And definitely, definitely speak to the teacher and the school to discourage gift exchanges. Invariably, the kid who is lactose intolerant gets the pizza certificate; the kid with fine motor skills problems gets the remote control airplane that virtually requires a pilot's license; the kid who's father owns an art store gets the pack of super-cool markers . . .
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amother






Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 12:38 pm
yo'ma wrote:
Okay, a pack of pens for a 5 yr old is not that exciting, but you can try to make it exciting and not agree with your ds. You could have empathy for him, but don't say it is lousy. Maybe give him a pencil case or let him decorate it somehow. We did that, with pencils, but still, for my ds b-day party. We wrapped a pipe cleaner around and attached feathers on top and added googley eyes. Or even just give him a pad of paper and tell him to practice writing his name or whatever. I can't think of anymore right now, but when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.



I didnt say hes 5- he's actually a few years older than that!- Ans hes not interested in the Pens- I have 1000 pens that I bought from Staples in the begining of the year for 20 cents a pack!
I dont think I should complain to the teacher because then shell think of me as a "complainer" and a "spoiled brat".
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shlomitsmum









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 12:41 pm
Had this happend once with DD....she got junk and a sucked on lollypop Rolling Eyes

so I told her the family probably couldn't afford and gave her 3$ for the dollar store. She got over it.
Call that teacher and have her do the random draw next time ....or to stop doing this stupid things ,that get inmature kids and even grown ups hurt
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yo'ma









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 12:43 pm
amother wrote:
yo'ma wrote:
Okay, a pack of pens for a 5 yr old is not that exciting, but you can try to make it exciting and not agree with your ds. You could have empathy for him, but don't say it is lousy. Maybe give him a pencil case or let him decorate it somehow. We did that, with pencils, but still, for my ds b-day party. We wrapped a pipe cleaner around and attached feathers on top and added googley eyes. Or even just give him a pad of paper and tell him to practice writing his name or whatever. I can't think of anymore right now, but when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.



I didnt say hes 5- he's actually a few years older than that!- Ans hes not interested in the Pens- I have 1000 pens that I bought from Staples in the begining of the year for 20 cents a pack!
I dont think I should complain to the teacher because then shell think of me as a "complainer" and a "spoiled brat".

oops, I got confused with the $5 pack. Smile , but I still say, make the best of it.
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amother






Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 12:55 pm
Don't know if this will help, but it is a funny story. A friend sent her daughter to preschool at a Reform Temple. While most of the kids were Jewish, a few were not, and some of the parents did not speak English. For the Chanukkah grab bag, my friend's daughter received, from a Korean classmate, a Xmas ornament. These people just plain didn't understand that Jews don't have Xmas trees.

I can think of a million good reasons that these people gave a sub-par gift, but I don't think that's doing to make your son feel better about it. If I could afford it, I'd lie through my teeth and tell my son that its so fortunate, since I was going to buy some pens that I needed. Could I have the pens, and let him pick out a treat for himself for $3 to $5.

(BTW, I wouldn't like a kid getting $5 to the pizza place. The kid surely doesn't pay for himself, so its really for the parents. And that creates a different problem -- its not enough for the whole family, so mom and dad will have to pay for everyone else, since they probably won't bring just this kid for a single slice, forgetting everyone else.)
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Fox









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 1:08 pm
amother wrote:
Don't know if this will help, but it is a funny story. A friend sent her daughter to preschool at a Reform Temple. While most of the kids were Jewish, a few were not, and some of the parents did not speak English. For the Chanukkah grab bag, my friend's daughter received, from a Korean classmate, a Xmas ornament. These people just plain didn't understand that Jews don't have Xmas trees.


LOL! It reminds me of the time a coworker went to great trouble to get fancy Chanukah cookies for the Jews in the office -- and had the kosher baker carefully decorate them with the message "Merry X-Mas" in frosting! But they were kosher . . . and darned tasty, I might add!

amother wrote:
(BTW, I wouldn't like a kid getting $5 to the pizza place. The kid surely doesn't pay for himself, so its really for the parents. And that creates a different problem -- its not enough for the whole family, so mom and dad will have to pay for everyone else, since they probably won't bring just this kid for a single slice, forgetting everyone else.)


That was my thought, too! I hate those prizes and gifts. If I let the kid with the certificate get the treat as take-out, his/her siblings end up watching him eat it, and go wild with jealousy. If I take the whole family, the "gift" ends up costing me many times its value. I've taken to just redeeming these for cash and using the certificates when I make a family order rather than allowing one child to use the whole certificate.
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mandksima









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 1:08 pm
Although I haven't been asked to do this (here they ask for 15-30 shekels for the year for stuff like this), I can't imagine being peeved for the present your child gets. Don't we teach our kids to say thank you and be happy that they got something? Maybe because I grew up getting weird presents that I didn't really want but even if I was disappointed, my parents sure didn't let me get angry that other kids got something better. My kids would love to get pens, they're 9. I don't get it, am I in a parallel universe here? Kids don't know what things cost, what's up? Is your kid upset or just you?
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HindaRochel









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 1:27 pm
Do they open them in school or at home. A wise teacher would have a few gifts put on the side, nothing major, but something like a deck of cards or a magic trick or whatever depending on the age, and then if she sees a gift isn't really "right" she pulls out another and says "Oh wait...this came along with that. I remember the wrapping paper."

If at home I'd just do what amother suggested.
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louche









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 2:16 pm
amother wrote:
Maybe they don't have any $$$?
Maybe they are very disorganized & they remembered the night before and that's all they had in the house that was new?

And maybe they have 7 kids all participating in grab bags or gift exchanges and this gift was meant for the "stationery" themed party.
Or maybe the parents have a new baby and in their sleep-deprived state they took their new supply of pens and wrapped it instead of the SuperCartoonActionFigure they bought for the grab bag.
Or, or, or.

Dumb idea in the first place--isn't a Grab-bag by definition a game in which no one knows who gave what to whom?
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farm









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 2:27 pm
That stinks for a young kid. I remember how my mom always prepped me for the possibility of getting a lousy grab bag gift even though she always sent me with an awesome one. Same thing purim time with the shaloch manos grab bags. Knowing in advance that I shouldn't expect anything too exciting definitely reduced the disappointment (and I knew I would be getting good presents and shaloch manos at home anyway). Fast-forward to seminary where everyone needed to bring a food/snack/nosh for a grab bag thingy and I got 2 rice cakes with jelly inside some tinfoil. I was pretty surprised that an 18 year old with no competing responsibilities couldn't do any better and when I found out who had submitted it I gave it back to her.
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louche









  


Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 2:32 pm
mandksima wrote:
Although I haven't been asked to do this (here they ask for 15-30 shekels for the year for stuff like this), I can't imagine being peeved for the present your child gets. Don't we teach our kids to say thank you and be happy that they got something? Maybe because I grew up getting weird presents that I didn't really want but even if I was disappointed, my parents sure didn't let me get angry that other kids got something better. My kids would love to get pens, they're 9. I don't get it, am I in a parallel universe here? Kids don't know what things cost, what's up? Is your kid upset or just you?


I agree with you in principle, but have a heart. He's a little kid, I assume. While there are a few Nerdistani kids in the world who would be tickled to get a package of generic pens when everyone else gets toys or pizza, a pedestrian school-supply item that your parents have to buy for you anyway is not something your average kid would cheer about. Would you be happy if someone gave you a gift of plain cotton bloomers for a party? No? Whyever not?

And kids are not dumb. They can tell the difference between a toy and a tool, between a luxury item and garden-variety, between something that costs $1 and something that costs $5.

I agree with you that a parent should not allow a child to see that she's angry about the gift but encourage him to appreciate what he got, but if all the kids in your class are saying the gift is dumb, it's really hard to act appreciative. And you know, it's not as if the kid got a gift out of the blue for no reason. This was an exchange of sorts, which means he gave something good and expected something good in return. If someone gave me a package of pens for no reason, yoffi! But if I gave them a custom-designed kippah that took me six weeks to complete and they gave me a box of generic pens, I'd be a tad peeved.

However, OP, mandksima is right in that you should be teaching your ds to understand that one should accept all gifts graciously. Otherwise, we end up 20 years later with posts on abbafather to the effect of "I'm so angry. I gave my kallah a ring that cost $7500 and she gave me a Timex watch that cost $50. I don't want to break off the shidduch, but don't I have a right to expect something better from the woman I'm redeeming from the shame of spinsterhood?"
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amother






Post  Thu, Dec 09 2010, 2:36 pm
louche wrote:
mandksima wrote:
Although I haven't been asked to do this (here they ask for 15-30 shekels for the year for stuff like this), I can't imagine being peeved for the present your child gets. Don't we teach our kids to say thank you and be happy that they got something? Maybe because I grew up getting weird presents that I didn't really want but even if I was disappointed, my parents sure didn't let me get angry that other kids got something better. My kids would love to get pens, they're 9. I don't get it, am I in a parallel universe here? Kids don't know what things cost, what's up? Is your kid upset or just you?


I agree with you in principle, but have a heart. He's a little kid, I assume. While there are a few Nerdistani kids in the world who would be tickled to get a package of generic pens when everyone else gets toys or pizza, a pedestrian school-supply item that your parents have to buy for you anyway is not something your average kid would cheer about. Would you be happy if someone gave you a gift of plain cotton bloomers for a party? No? Whyever not?

And kids are not dumb. They can tell the difference between a toy and a tool, between a luxury item and garden-variety, between something that costs $1 and something that costs $5.

I agree with you that a parent should not allow a child to see that she's angry about the gift but encourage him to appreciate what he got, but if all the kids in your class are saying the gift is dumb, it's really hard to act appreciative. And you know, it's not as if the kid got a gift out of the blue for no reason. This was an exchange of sorts, which means he gave something good and expected something good in return. If someone gave me a package of pens for no reason, yoffi! But if I gave them a custom-designed kippah that took me six weeks to complete and they gave me a box of generic pens, I'd be a tad peeved.

However, OP, mandksima is right in that you should be teaching your ds to understand that one should accept all gifts graciously. Otherwise, we end up 20 years later with posts on abbafather to the effect of "I'm so angry. I gave my kallah a ring that cost $7500 and she gave me a Timex watch that cost $50. I don't want to break off the shidduch, but don't I have a right to expect something better from the woman I'm redeeming from the shame of spinsterhood?"


OP here- you did a great job of explaining (as usual). You hit the nail on the button. DS is a kid. For 10 days he built up the hype for this. He expected like everyone else to get something decent. And he didnt. Like I said, thats why I explained to him that things arent always fair. And honestly, I think it hurts me just as much as it hurts him.
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