This past weekend, we sold Girl Scout cookies at our local grocery store. I know I’ve been talking about Girl Scouts lately, but it’s cookie season, and it really consumes all of our family. I am the cookie mom for 3 troops, plus I have a daughter who wants to sell at least 1,000 boxes. I’ve been doing this for five years, you’d think that I’ve seen it all by now. This year is different. People are different. Women are… very different. Here are five things not to say to a Girl Scout selling cookies, and a simple suggestion for what you could say instead.
Five things NOT to say to a Girl Scout selling cookies…
- “Can I take a picture with you?”
I really don’t know why you want your picture taken with my five-year-old, but honestly, it’s kind of creepy. We’ve taught our girls about stranger danger and by you asking to have your picture taken with my daughter, it’s now weird and contradicts everything I’ve been teaching her. She is working hard to reach her goal and this is a real business. Please, just don’t come into their workplace because you think they’re cute, and make things awkward for all of us.
- “I’ll be right back.” or “I’ll catch you on the way out.”
Unless you mean it, and follow through. Do NOT tell the girls you’ll be right back, and then take a detour of avoidance on the way out. They are waiting for you to come back, and contrary to what you might think, they can remember you, even your backside. If you don’t plan on buying cookies, just simply say, “No, thank you” and leave it at that. Be an adult.
- “We don’t eat sugar.”
That’s great, I wish I could cut down on sugar too. Maybe after cookie season… But please don’t lecture the girls on how harmful sugar is. Even if you or a family member is a diabetic. This is not your job to teach our girls, it’s ours. Most of us don’t eat a lot of sugar, but a lot of us like an occasional box of Thin Mints during the season. Also? You can totally donate to the troop’s cause, and there’s no sugar for you in a donation!
- Ignoring a Girl Scout completely.
Please stop with the “I do not see you. I do not hear you. I’m just going to pretend no one is talking to me” walk of shame. That’s exactly what it is. Again, be an adult. Isn’t it much better for all of us to simply say, “No, thanks”? This is a really important lesson for the girls. They need to be able to hear “no” and be ok with it. They also need to know that they are being heard. They are being taught to be confident, and speak without being timid. Please do not ignore them. This is really hard for some of these girls. When you pretend they don’t exist, it makes them question themselves. Don’t do this. Please just say, “No, thank you.”
- “I’m watching my weight.”
Ok, deep breath here. Do NOT. DO NOT. DON’T under ANY circumstance tell our little girls that you can not buy a box of cookies because you are on a diet, OR you need to lose weight, OR you’re watching your weight, OR you’ve already eaten way too many cookies as you grab your belly. Don’t do it. I shouldn’t even have to tell you why, but here I go… As you stop and look at the cookies (wearing your running gear and you are already rail thin) shifting from one foot to the next, PLEASE just say “No, thank you.” Our girls are so impressionable. And they’re already dealing with so many other pressures on a daily basis. This is the last thing they need to hear about diets and weight issues from another adult. I had to explain to my child what a diet was, and why someone who was already so skinny needed to “watch their weight”. I’m doing my best on a daily basis, which is not easy. Please don’t make this about your own weight issues. I get that there are legitimate reasons to stay away from things like Girl Scout Cookies. But a brief encounter with a Girl Scout who is trying to sell cookies is not the place to bring up this subject.
Like I said, this year feels different than years past. I am seeing so many strange things out there that I haven’t seen before. I guess it’s giving our girls real-life experiences. Just remember if you don’t eat sugar, or don’t want to buy cookies, or you’re on a diet, the easiest way to deal with those Girl Scouts selling cookies either door-to-door or in front of your favorite market is to quickly acknowledge them and just say…
“No, thank you.” We’ll thank you for it. And a sincere thanks for supporting the Girl Scouts.