Q: My young son’s school sells ice cream pops during lunch several days a week. It is a fundraiser for the school’s PTO. I have no issue with helping my child’s school, but I don’t want to do it by purchasing ice cream. We try to limit sweets in our family and ice cream during the school day does not support our efforts. The problem is our son whines and begs to be able to purchase the ice cream- like everyone else. UGH! It puts us in an awkward position and makes our son feel left out when we say no. The school year is almost over, but I want to make sure we have a plan in place for next year. Any ideas?
A: The budget for schools has gotten smaller and smaller. And many schools are dependent on the parent organizations to help offset this shrinkage. In many cases these parent-based organizations choose to have on going fundraisers like the ice cream sales at your son’s school.
Because they work!
Children want the ice cream. Parents want to keep peace and harmony. Boom! “Here is another dollar for ice cream.” It is far easier for busy parents to give in to the purchase of ice cream than it is to work out a compromise.
Knowing why fundraisers like ice cream sales are popular may be helpful, but that doesn’t solve the whining and begging that plague your family.
You are absolutely correct, you need to get a plan in place.
Here is a compromise suggestion that just might be a workable plan.
Say, “Yes” to ice cream.
Okay, not every day or even every week, but say, “Yes”. (Already you are a hero!)
Every month let your child select which day he would like to purchase ice cream. Circle the day on the calendar; call it ice cream day, whatever you need to do to show your child you will remember, but stick to the selected day. “When do I get to buy ice cream?” “Let’s look at the calendar and see which day YOU picked.” This reassures your child that the purchase will happen and reminds him that he was in charge of selecting the day.
You can support your child’s school in ways other than participating in on going fundraisers, but purchasing ice cream once a month on a predetermined day may be a compromise with which everyone can happily live.