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Explaining to Kids Why You Don't Shop at Certain Stores

By Jodie Lynn


There are certain stores that I do not allow my children to patronize for clothes, supplies and various merchandise. They become upset with me because their friends shop at these places. What should I say to them to try to make a valid point for my decision but not make them feel they have the right to say the same to their friends?


When my children ask for a specific product that their friends have already bought, I go online to find out about the manufacturer and where it is sold if it is something from a store I would rather not patronize. Usually, it is offered at other stores or online. I have also found that things are less expensive when bought online anyway. - Rachel G. in Norfolk, VA


Usually when parents decide not to shop at a specific store the reasons are varied. If it is due to stories you might have heard in the media, the focus is often scandalous such as sweatshops, unfair wages or gender inequality. How much you want to explain to your children about why you'd prefer to shop at a different store will most likely be determined by their age and how confident you are that they'd understand. For example, if they are at least in middle school, they probably would not only comprehend your explanation better, but would also be able to follow your rules about not sharing the information with their friends in a detrimental way. Otherwise, you are correct in thinking that they might blurt out something to their friends or friends' parents in a derogatory manner. The one thing that you might want to keep in mind is that even if the store has had a poor image in the past for whatever reason, you could take the time to check if they have corrected the situation. If you feel that the company has made a good effort to do so and agree with its new policies, then consider giving them another chance. If you think that they still have a long way to go to get to your standards, try to find the product at another store. There are also many products that are similar in almost every way except the brand name that could also be acceptable to your children.

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To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email direct2contact, or go to which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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