Metro Morning

Mommy blogger asks parents to 'just say no' to loot bags

A Toronto mom has sparked controversy with a blog post calling for the end of loot what she calls a wasteful tradition that teaches children the wrong lessons about giving.

'Keep your dollar store crap to yourself,' writes Renee Kaiman — and plenty of parents agree

Loot bags at children's birthday parties are a waste of time and money, and they tell our kids that they should be rewarded for everything they do, says the woman behind My So Called Mommy Life. (Wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock )

A Toronto mom is calling on parents to ditch the tradition of giving out loot bags at children's birthday parties. 

Renee Kaiman, a mother of two who runs the website My So Called Mommy Life, penned a piece earlier this month called "Just say NO to loot bags," in which she tells parents to "keep your dollar store crap to yourself."

"I have been attending numerous birthday parties over the last few weekends, and it's just junk," Kaiman told CBC Metro Morning's Matt Galloway.

"My kids obviously love to receive it, but within a few minutes things are broken [and] there's lots of pieces all over my house. And for the parents who are throwing the birthday, it's just a waste of money."

Renee Kaiman is sick of picking up the bits and bobbles left over from birthday party loot bags. (CBC)

Kaiman was hesitant to hit publish on the post, she said, fearing she would offend her fellow parents.

But plenty of people have come to her defence and expressed their loathing for the dreaded children's party favours.

Higher-quality loot 

But if the problem with loot bags is the low quality, why scrap the tradition instead of improving upon it?

Some parents took to Facebook and Twitter to offer up alternatives to the usual plastic toys and cheap candy.

"The best loot my kids ever got was a package of seeds and dollar store garden shovel," wrote one mom on Facebook. "We had wonderful sunflowers in our garden that summer and the experience of watching something grow from seed."

"Loot bags have mostly been replaced by books," wrote another Facebook commenter. "I think it's a better option."

Sends the wrong message

Still, Kaiman holds tight to her anti-loot views. The more thoughtful loot bags are expensive, she said, and that's an unfair burden to place on parents.

What's more, she said the whole thing sends the wrong message. 

"Instead of bringing a gift to the child whose birthday it is and teaching the child that it feels good to give to others, they're always being rewarded," she said.

"To go to celebrate a birthday party is fabulous — it's so nice, it's fun, it's great for the kids, and why should they also receive a gift for coming to celebrate?"

'Kids love that dollar junk stuff'

Still, the loot bag has its defenders.

At the end of the day, Kaiman says the contents of her children's loot bags usually ends up where they belong — in the trash.

"I throw them often away at night when my kids are sleeping," she said. "My kids will often play with these little plasticky toys quite often, but when I find them, I toss them."

What do you think? Let us know in the comments. 

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