Myleene Klass tweeted to nearly half a million followers about a request from a mother at her daughters school in regards to an upcoming birthday party and gift request.
The mother suggested in the email that the other parents give £10 towards a gift that each child wanted, one being a kindle, the other a school desk. I have thought long and hard about this and have heard, read and listened to many arguments from both camps but my opinion remains firm.
I have never attended a birthday party for a child even when I was a child myself without a gift of some kind except for this year when my friend Tara asked us to donate to a charity instead of bringing gifts as she felt her son had way too many toys.
I personally love the idea of giving €10 towards a gift that the child will actually use and be grateful for instead of receiving 30 presents most of which will never be touched or wanted anyway. In my opinion this is not about greed or indeed the parents being pushy and rude but I feel it actually shows solidarity amongst parents for a change. Finally Mums are working together and coming up with sensible options for birthday presents. In a local school here in Castleknock mums have asked for a €5 donation towards a lego fund for kids and we all know how expensive Lego is, so is it not better that the child gets something they actually want and appreciate??
There have also been comments in regards to children not receiving gifts at all. As a parent I’m well aware that many of our children want for nothing these days but with birthdays come presents and I’m not a great fan of extremities. Finding a happy balance is the key.
Regardless of anyone’s opinion though including Myleene’s, as a celebrity and a person in the public eye she has used her celebrity irresponsibly here and taken something that was a private conversation between parents and put it on a public forum and publicly bullied the other mother. She should never have used her twitter or any other social media to mock another mother at her child’s school. The school in question costs £5,000 a term so my only surprise was that the parents were asking for so little as I have lived in London and witnessed ridiculous and lavish gifts exchanged between toddlers never mind school age kids.
The fact of the matter is her kids could be the ones to suffer at school now as they could potentially become a target for bullying but just look at where the cycle begins? Bullying at any level in my opinion is completely unacceptable and something Myleene should have thought about before using her fingers!!
Irish mum Heather Kennedy saw the craziness that has evolved around birthdays and has created a business called www.Gololly.com This site aims to take the hassle out of shopping for kid’s birthday party gifts. It also takes the pressure of parents who are busy and under pressure to attend parties that can become quite costly and really what can you honestly buy for €10 these days?
The reality is that being served with a children’s birthday party invite means constant planning, shopping, wrapping and delivering of birthday gifts. Mom as the primary care giver in most households holds the responsibility of purchasing gifts and if she has 3 kids that can stack up as many as 60 gifts she has to buy each year – and that’s just her obligation gifting.
With Gololly.com Heather wants to turn this chore for mums into a choice for kids ; empowering them to make their own gift choices and I personally think this is a great idea.
With Gololly parents and their kids can now set up a cash gift fund online and invite their party guests to contribute towards one big ticket gift, saving them the hassle of shopping and buying gifts that may or in my experience will be wasteful.
Research shows us that only 1% of gifts are still in use after 6 months post party so as a parent I would much rather my five or ten euro go somewhere than nowhere. Its simply not realistic to expect kids to get nothing.
Ideas like Gololly.com and the mums at Myleenes school solve 3 problems in my eyes:
For Mum, it’s a killer app solution to another of life’s problems.
For Party Guests, is a way to give a useful gift, that’s always wanted.
For Kids, it’s a way to get the stuff they really want.