Kids at Black Friday shopping?

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MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3212
Kids at Black Friday shopping?

My conversation on another board reminded me of this question I wanted to debate.

During the midnight - wee hour outings for Black Friday shopping, I noticed many more kids out with parents. I'm sure that part of that may have been driven by earlier than normal shopping hours at other stores and then parents simply didn't go home. Most of the kids appeared to be exhausted and cranky.

My kids have expressed a desire to go out but dh and I have remained firm that they stay home with him (except the older ones that have to work.)

I'm curious though whether my train of thought is in the minority. While I don't consider taking kids to the early bird (overnight) Black Friday shopping sprees to be abusive, I don't think that it is in their best interest. (My personal reasons are #1 that I don't want to deal with them being irritable throughout the rest of the day/weekend; and #2 -- because I would be shopping for our family and don't want them to see. LOL)

Do you think that kids should be dragged along for these shopping sprees or should parents figure out another plan? If you disagree, at what age do you believe that they should be allowed to go?

Joined: 05/13/02
Posts: 414

I saw several young children out as well. There is no way I would take my boys (9 & 11) with me if I was going to be out past 10:00 pm or so. My oldest son (14) could probably make it past midnight, but I wouldn't want to keep him out much past that. Honestly, it wouldn't be enjoyable for any of us. Huge crowds + tired, hungry, cranky kids = not happening!

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

I don't think it's safe. I would be terrified they'd get swept up in a crowd.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

DD1 loves it! I told her she and DD2 were staying at Gma & Gpa's house. She wanted to go. As "luck" would have it, I got all the stuff I needed online! Everything - Air Hogs, board games, ipod (for me) with gift card. No need to go anywhere!

Until I ran out of conditioner. Had to go to Target. No problem. No lines, not crowded. Even lighter than my Sunday 8 AM weekly trips.

Went to lunch, not crowded at all. The busiest store was Bath & Body Works.

Last year we went at about 4 - 5AM. (Just my then 15-YO and me). Again, no lines, not crowded, and got awesome deals!

So yes, I would take my children out to weather BF. I have good memories of my mom and I making the rounds. Lot more crowded before online shopping.

Keeping my kids out late doesn't bother me.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"wlillie" wrote:

I don't think it's safe. I would be terrified they'd get swept up in a crowd.

IME, we haven't had the huge, unsafe crowds. I've never gone to WalMart at their opening, and avoid there like the plague anyway.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

When I worked in retail I remember the customers being very rude to each other, I wouldnt want my kids to see that

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

My oldest (7) begged to go this year but there's no way I'd take her along. For starters, I'm out buying her Christmas presents so it wouldn't make sense for her to be with me. Not only that, but there's just too many people to worry about keeping my little one right beside me. I don't have a problem with her being out late, but I do have a problem with her being in crowds of pushy people.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I would maybe take a pre teen/teenager when the time comes but I don't BF shop anyway.

I would never take my 4/2 year olds and I heard a lot of that. Stores can't open here until 12 or 1 on Friday so it's abusive.

Although, one year when dd1 was a baby she went through a spurt of not going to bed until 1-2am due to teething so we stayed out late shopping. It wasn't BF though.

smsturner's picture
Joined: 05/11/09
Posts: 1303

I am bothered by the super early crazy fighting 'i must be the first one in!' Bf shopping... I've never been able to really decide why. Maybe it feels greedy? Or just lack of manners and kindness?

Anyway. Marcus would never tolerate a loud crowd like that. He would melt. Megan would love it, but she's almost 13. I wouldn't take a small one to it ever. I would be too worried about them.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

I can't imagine my kids wanting to be part of that, or me wanting to be part of it. I don't really like shopping anyway and to enjoy it, I'd definitely have to be somewhere that was NOT crowded. That's why I love online shopping.

I think taking little kids out to midnight sales where people are acting crazy and aggressive doesn't sound like a very good idea.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

I think it's my frugal nature. I saved so much money this weekend on all the Christmas gifts I bought. I definitely splurged a bit on myself also. Things I was in the market for anyway had buy-one-get-one for $1. $10 off here a $40 gift card there and free shipping everywhere really adds up. Plus my bank was having extra cash-back specials. I don't consider myself greedy just cheap.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

We don't have BF in the same way with midnight openings but there was still a big sale. We had to go to walmart for groceries and even though it wasn't that crazy I didn't want to take DD with us. The last thing I need is to try and keep track of a 4 year old while dealing with a grumpy crowd. If it was a midnight opening I wouldn't take her for a long time yet.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

I do not take my children with me when I go Black Friday shopping. They stay home with DH. I do however, feel bad for the single mom's that do not have a DH. Either they have to bring their children with them or not go. If they do choose to go, they have every random stranger that does not know their circumstances calling them abusive. I can easily picture a single mom who works 50 hours a week just to make ends meat that really badly wants to get their child something special for Christmas. The only way they could possibly afford to get the gift is to go on Black Friday when it is deeply discounted.

While it is not something I do myself, it is definitely not what I would call abuse. I think you could easily have your child take a nap earlier in the day to make up for staying up late. As for keeping them with you, I would put my children in the shopping cart if I was worried about them being apart from me, or in the case of a baby, you wear them on you in a wrap.

As for being out late, I do not think once or twice a year is abusive. What about New Years Eve? Is it abusive to let a young child stay up late one day a year? Or the Super Bowl? I think it takes a lot out of the word abusive to call something this trivial abuse.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

No way. I can't think of many things more masochistic than that. I would rather a root canal, with no freezing. I don't mind the mall by myself, at like 10:00 am on a Tuesday ;), but kids + midnight + insane crowds = My Personal Hell

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I would never, ever take a small child BF shopping because it sounds just awful for everyone involved, including me. Keep in mind though, that I think that any sort of BF shopping sounds awful (I HATE crowds like that) so the idea of having a small child with me really only compounds the horror.

Having said that, I agree with Bonita that calling it "abusive" is really trivializing the concept of "abuse." It may not be a total A+ parenting move, but keeping your kids out late one night out of the year isn't really my idea of abuse either. I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't always bring my A+ parenting either. I don't take my kid BF shopping, but I do let him keep his coat in the car when it's really cold (:p) so I'm familiar with less than A+ parenting techniques. LOL

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4114

There are many people who don't have the resources to just leave their kids home. They may not have friends or family close to watch the kids. I have been in that situation so I wouldn't blame anyone taking their kids because I don't know the reasons behind it.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I guess to me, there's just nothing that important, as I said before I would consider it if it was a very limited toy but with the internet nowadays I'm assuming you could find it somewhere.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

There are many people who don't have the resources to just leave their kids home. They may not have friends or family close to watch the kids. I have been in that situation so I wouldn't blame anyone taking their kids because I don't know the reasons behind it.

I would also assume that these people are the ones who need the big bargains the most.