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candy from strangers

  1. #1
    babymommy2 is offline Registered User
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    candy from strangers

    I'm not sure why, but for some reason when we visit hong kong stangers will ply my children (3 and 5) with candy. Someone next to us on the MTR, or at the next table in a restaurant, or someone in a store, people who do not know us at all will give hand the children a wrapped candy, usually they just give it to them without asking us, and sometimes it is older children who give them the candy. I'm never sure how to handle this. So far I've let them have it because I don't want to appear rude, yet I don't want my children to get into the habit of taking candy from a stranger. It is a common ploy for those that abduct kids. Does this happen to you? and what do you do about it. It makes me uncomfortable but not sure how to nicely refuse it.

  2. #2
    Buckeroo is offline Registered User
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    When that happens to us (not often), I just politely thank whomever it is and say firmly (but with a smile) that we don't give sweets to our children (which is true).

    Around Chinese New Year, some people carry sweets around to hand out in lieu of lai sees, I think, so there's probably more of the candy-giving around this time of the year.

  3. #3
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    0ze_Kid is offline Registered User
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    We arrived in HK around Halloween and I could not believe the amount of candy being given to my child. It did settle down after a while, especially in the shops that I started going into often.

    I too would do what Buckeroo does, or tell them that she was about to have dinner and should not eat any candy.

  4. #4
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    there are a few issues here:
    1) accepting candies from strangers and possible stranger danger

    2) accepting candies from acquaintances, such as the security guard in your building

    3) hurting people's feelings

    for me, it always depends on the situation.
    1) if i am with the children, i make sure that the children say thank you. i have also explained to my 4 year old, that it is ok when mummy is there, but NOT when i am not. child abductions in HK are not nearly as common as elsewhere in the world. THIS IS NOT THE CASE IN CHINA! i often say thank you and that the kids will eat it after dinner.

    2) accepting from an acquaintance. it doesn't bother me so much and i just make sure that my kids say thank you.

    3) if it is a stranger.... do you really care what they think of you? even if you do, why? it's not like you're likely ever to see them again, right? just say, no thank you, they are not allowed candy.

  5. #5
    mel_g20 is offline Registered User
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    I have had to teach my children to say no to anything given to them, unless they ask me first. I am constantly put in this difficult situation.

    My son has a severe peanut allergy, which could be fatal if someone gave him something containing peanuts. And there are many many candies where peanuts are a hidden ingredient, or produced in the same factory.

    People mean well, but do not understand the potential seriousness of what they are doing. I think it is important just to say 'no thank you' and explain why. If they are upset - well so be it.

    And yes, I also think it is valid to be concerned about child abductions, even if HK feels safer. I wouldnt worry about peoples feelings. I definately say no to all strangers even if I am there.

  6. #6
    busybuzzymum is offline Registered User
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    Although I grew up in HK, I still found HK people's "friendly" attitude towards my babies (2.5yo son and 14 mo twins) difficult to handle. I agree with everyone here. I say no firmly to the strangers' lollies for the reasons that I don't let my 2.5 yo son have much lollies and I definitely don't let him accept things from stangers. But it really bothers me when they try to give my son lollies or talk or touch my babies without my permission.
    However, it is all in the culture - the fact that they like to give to babies, that they don't think much of the consequence of their action and that their actions may be bothering people.
    Last edited by busybuzzymum; 02-07-2009 at 03:11 PM.

  7. #7
    Frenchy is offline Registered User
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    Everytime I goes to the wet market beside my flat, some ladies give some wrap candies to my 15 mo boy... he generally plays with it and as soon as he loses interest I throw it away... But I would definitively never leave anyone put anything in his mouth ! first because you don't know if it's clean, and at least people should ask you if they are allowed to do that. It happened one time that a man started to touch my babies mouth, I made a back step very quickly !!

  8. #8
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    well, busy mum... you'd have a hard time with me as i ALWAYS talk to kids... i do it for a living and i just can't help myself when i see little ones... i find that some of my best conversations have been with under 7's....

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