A mom gave out movie vouchers to her son's small kindergarten class took to Reddit to see if she was in the wrong after other parents confronted her about the movie vouchers.
Most of the time when kids come back from school with Halloween treats, their haul is a mix of sugar rush-inducing candy and the occasional small toy of tub of slime. One mom decided to mix things up for her son’s kindergarten class and gave out one movie voucher per child — but the other parents felt like this move was more of a trick than a treat.
“My son has 17 kids in his class so I decided to do something nice [for Halloween],” the mom explained on the popular subreddit AITA. “Through my company I get discounted movie tickets to give away to clients. So I put 17 envelopes in my son's backpack for his teacher to put in each other kid's Halloween treat bag today.”
Seems like a nice gesture! The mom goes on to explain that her son attends “a private school and all the parents agreed to send treats for every kid in the class. No problem with religion [exemptions] or economic hardship.”
When she went to pick up her son, the mom said that three moms were waiting for her: “They wanted to know where their ticket was and if I had extra for their other kids?”
Okay, so it sounds like these moms are less-than-pleased with the movie vouchers. But the OP was confused at the outrage — after all, she just gave them all a free movie pass, and that essentially gives the parents a discount for whenever they decide to next go out for a family movie night.
“What? I just thought this was better than more candy. But they are upset with me because now they will have to spend money to use their Halloween treat. I think all the kids go to see movies. The voucher is good for one kids movie admission, a small soda, a small popcorn, and a small candy. But it seems that I'm the a**h*** for only providing for the one kid in my son's class,” the mom concluded.
Reddit was somewhat split on this one. On one hand, some people could understand the frustration that comes with a gift that is essentially an obligation. Others noted that while the children attend a private school, that doesn’t inherently mean that all the parents are well-off financially.
“How do you know there are no problems with economic hardships. Things aren't always as they appear. The problem is that you gave a gift that requires the parents to spend money. Either so that they can attend with their child, or so that they other children can go. And it isn't just the movie ticket. All the other siblings will also want soda, popcorn and candy. So you've put some parents in a position where they are forced to spend money to not look like the a**h***” noted one user, who ultimately decided OP wasn’t necessarily in the wrong for handing out the movie vouchers, but added that “I don't think you considered the impact this ‘treat’ would have.
A good amount agreed with the angry moms, noting that getting a young child’s heart set on something exciting like a trip to the movie theater creates an obligation (as if moms don’t have enough of those!).
“You didn’t think this through. Halloween treats are non-conditional. You give it to the kid, they eat it, it’s over,” wrote one. “This gift is objectively different from that sort of treat. Once the kid gets the voucher, you’ve set up the expectation that the parent take the kid to the movies. To the parent, you haven’t given a gift, you’ve created an obligation, an obligation that will likely cost more money than the voucher was worth. Asking about other vouchers isn’t being greedy, it’s about trying to figure out if you’ve really just given their kid a gift where their financial contribution is going to end up more than yours.”
The other half of commenters viewed the gift as generous and were also baffled by the other parents’ response to the movie vouchers. And many argued that the whole “setting up expectations” argument doesn’t hold much water.
“This is kindergarten and these kids just received a ton of CANDY--which is to say, they're easily distracted right now. If the parents truly don't want to take their kid to a movie, put the ticket away and it will be long forgotten. Or, gasp, pony up for your own ticket and make a family movie day out of it. A free movie ticket is not the insult they are portraying it to be.”
“I've got a neurodiverse kid man,” added another user. “I KNOW how some kids can get. But part of parenting is being the parent. If you get a gift you say thank you, you don't demand more. If you can't use it you deal with it yourself. If you get toys you don't want for your kid you either cope or they disappear. Same if you get coupons you can't or don't want to use.”
That seems like a simple solution! If the parents can’t or do not want to take their child to the movies with the voucher they can give it to someone else, toss it in a drawer, or throw it out. If the OP had given out Sour Patch Kids to all the kids, and a couple kids didn’t like them, it’s not like their parents would have demanded OP give something else. Instead, their child would simply not eat that piece of candy. It seems just as easy to not use the voucher.