Saturday, July 14, 2012

Let the Kiddos be Kiddos

 Do you remember buying up the penny candy years ago, and how happy it made you?  I used to look everything over and analyze just how I would spend my money to get the biggest bang for my buck.  And I still remember how happy that made me. 

Today there is no such thing as penny candy, or if there is, it is pretty rare, but there are bubble gum machines.  You know them…the ones that sit in the hallway just before you enter the store, or if you’re leaving, right on your way out.  And the kids always want to stop at them… And why shouldn’t they?  It’s an easy way to grab a moment of childhood; a chance where you can watch your little one be completely immersed in the joy of picking out that 25-cent gumball.  

So why then, are gumball machines such a source of distress for so many parents?  I’ve seen kids dragged by the arm, snapped at, threatened with punishment, and well you get the idea…because they had the nerve to say, “Can I have a piece of gum?”  I know there are times when you really do have to rush, but there are also many times when you really don’t.  How long anyway does it take to get that piece of gum?  As long as it takes you to go through a drive-through and get a cup of coffee, or a Diet Coke?

I say let the kids be kids, and the next time they ask, “Mommy, please, please, please?” remember that  there aren’t going to be a lot of moments in life when you get to make your children so thoroughly happy for nothing more than a quarter. 


  1. My kids hardly ever ask, we are not big restaurant people but 2 or 3 times a year we take the kids to this one restaurant. It has a huge gum-ball machine. The gum goes around and around. They have more fun watching it than eating it. I always make sure I have quarters.

  2. Rosey... I totally get what you're saying... however.. and I can only speak for myself... If I give my daughter one little bit of sugar, well let's just say it's not a pretty sight.

  3. Cheryl, we love those kinds of machines too.

    Carla, I thought of that when I was writing too. I know there are cases where it's not acceptable to give a child gum, including the one you mentioned.

    Nice to see you both on the blog. Thanks for reading. :)

  4. We always stop at those gumball machines. My boys love them.

  5. My kids only asked once for that machine and we did let them get something.

    But it's so true what you say. You have to give the kids time to be kids. I remind myself that so often.

    Today I've eaten so much food from their fake kitchen that I'm fat, but it's good. Just let them play. Play with them. Give them childhood.

  6. Wendy: Hurrah! :)

    Jamerican Spice: Exactly. It's so easy to make a little one happy, and it's also easy to overlook those opportunities when they pop up, or to just take them for granted.

    Glad to hear you have a play kitchen at your place...we get fed a lot of plastic/wood things here too. ha!

    Thank you both for stopping by. :)

  7. I think parents today dismiss the fun of just being. We have become so overly protective we have started forgetting children have the right to be kids. We expect them to'grow up' before they have a chance to laugh for no reason, be silly, pretend or enjoy a sweet moment. we reduce their right to have fun based on our shortened patience for childhood interruptions. Electronics aren't nearly as much fun as a moment of joy at the gumball machine or a 1/2 hour of pretend. Unfortunately today's kids will probably never know this

  8. T. Lorraine F, our kids will know...and hopefully they'll share that with their kids, who will share it with their kids, who will...well you get what I'm trying to say, I'm sure. :)

    I loved your reply. Thanks for reading an article on the blog!

  9. We must be wimpy parents because we cave on the gum pretty much every time! :)

  10. I would just about always let David get something from one of the machines when we "left" the store if he had behaved during our visit. Bribery ~ perhaps ~ but more time than not he got to spend a quarter! I agree with you, the time flies, make as many happy memories as you can. For the price of a quarter it is well worth it.


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