stranger giving my child money

(225 Posts)
trackies Wed 15-May-13 22:09:36

Was at a toddler group with my 3 yo. There was a professional photographer there taking pics as approved by lady who runs it. They sit on a seat infront of a white screen. My child had a turn. My child is very chatty and friendly and likes posing for photos, and he found him easy to deal with. Bit later on my child, who likes attention and chatting to people, chatted to him for few mins, whilst i was there. Photographer was saying how lovely he was and he'd made his day, and then he gave him a gift of £2 and told him to buy some sweets with it. This freaked me out. I was a bit stunned. I tried to politely say that we can't take his money (i didn't want it!) but he insisted on me taking it. As i was leaving i tried to prize the £2 away from my child but he was clinging onto it so i left cos i just wanted to get out there! Got home and explained to small child that should not take gifts from strangers, but it wasn't his fault. I should have done something at the time. I was just caught off guard. Told my DH who said this man should have not been giving money to my child, and agreed that it's weird, but it could have been just someone being nice. But he was not happy. I told couple of Mummy friends who said it was weird aswell. DH said i definitely need to talk to the women who runs the group just to say that it made me uncomfortable and give the money back. Do you think it's weird ? or an act of kindness ? what would you do ?

GaryBuseysTeeth Wed 15-May-13 22:28:32

He was just being nice.

A lady in Sainsburys opened her Quality Street tin & let me have one when I was 5, went for a toffee finger, so disappointed I've not had another one since. grin

Can I weigh in with it being a Welsh thing?

BusterKeaton Wed 15-May-13 22:29:16

Enormouse: You can add Canada to the list.

pollywollydoodle Wed 15-May-13 22:30:17

definitely a midlands thing...happened to dd several times when little wink

Fairyegg Wed 15-May-13 22:30:47

Strangers often give my kids money, especially more elderly people in The local shop. When they were babies in Buggies they would put a pound behind their ear, I'm guessing that was some sort of tradition. I think your being today ott to be honest.

FreudiansSlipper Wed 15-May-13 22:31:51

ds was often given money by people we did not know (all were quite old) to buy some sweets or an ice cream. He was given $10 for being so good on a flight too

he has also had his picture taken by strangers one a group of Japanese tourists as they loved his hair

it's sad we are so suspicious of people being nice to young child

SirBoobAlot Wed 15-May-13 22:32:09

Think you're both overreacting and over thinking.

It was a kind thing to do.

DS was give 50p by an older lady a while back because she said he'd made her smile more than she had all week.

Makes me sad that these gestures - and it's the gesture that matters, not the money - are now viewed immediately as weird and suspicious, instead of just nice.

Plomino Wed 15-May-13 22:32:19

Happens to my lot quite a bit . They take turns to stay with my mum every summer , and whenever they go out anywhere they always come back clutching pound coins !

We went to Italy one year , when the boys were under the age of ten , and had white blond hair. One evening the town had a major religious festival , with about 30,000 people attending . 29,998 patted the boys on the head and tried to give them money for luck . They cleaned up !

gail734 Wed 15-May-13 22:33:11

Not exactly the same, but my old auntie (Scottish) calls it "hanselling the baby". Not sure of spelling. The first time you meet/see a new baby, you must put a coin in the pram or crib. It's for good luck, so that he or she will always be prosperous in life. For the same reason, you must never give anyone a gift of a purse or money box without putting a coin in it first.
But OP's photographer was just being nice!

PilgrimSoul Wed 15-May-13 22:33:21

Yeah, I cleaned up when DD was in a pram! We need someone Welsh to come on and say it's a Wales thing.

babyboomersrock Wed 15-May-13 22:33:51

In Scotland it's quite usual (or it was!) to give money to babies, as Disappearing has said - it used to be that on your first outings with a new baby, random strangers would tuck a coin "under the pillow for luck" - even when there wasn't a pillow. Usually with a "God bless him/her" added.

It's a bit more unusual that your child was singled out in that way when there were presumably other children who didn't get money - especially by someone who was there to make money, not give it away, but it isn't as though he was alone with your child, who then turned up with money. Was he an older guy? I know many people of my generation who'd think this was normal.

Accidentallyquirky Wed 15-May-13 22:34:02

It's a lovely gesture, my dd as a baby often got stopped and given money and even now she's 3 still gets the odd person who will after talking to her give her £1 'to buy sweeties' usually in the hairdressers or in church.
I'd never refuse it and I always thank them as does dd very politely.

It's an old fashioned thing but even now if I speak to a parent and newborn baby I 'cross his/her hand with silver' and I'm only early 20s it's supposed to bring luck.

We live in such a strange world now where even doing something innocent and nice is perceived to be wrong.

WeAreSix Wed 15-May-13 22:35:13

You've just reminded me of having my sun bleached ruined highlights blonde hair touched in Kuala Lumpur by what seemed like several hundred people. They were absolutely fascinated by it.

pointythings Wed 15-May-13 22:35:39

I think it might be an older people thing... My DDs once had a fab time getting a lady in Sainsburys the things she needed from different shelves, doing the bending down for her, generally running errands. She gave them each £1, I told her it really wasn't necessary because she had made their day as much as they had hers, but she insisted. It was lovely.

EuroShaggleton Wed 15-May-13 22:35:42

It's pretty common. My dad had a job which involved to going into people's houses to measure things up. Sometimes he used to take me along to hold the end of the measure tape (and probably with hindsight to give my mum a break if I was being a little shit!) and I would often be given something like a kitkat or a coin. This was in London/South East, btw.

I think he was just being nice.

People often gave my babies money when they were small, "a little something for their money box" popped into the pram usually, and I remember one of the neighbours (in her 70s iirc) actually said a little rhyme each time too as she gave "silver" to the three that were newborns in this house. I can't remember the exact words but something about them "never being without" and "never being without friendship" as long as they never gave that particular coin back to her.
It was sweet, but not something I'd ever seen before.

AmbrosiaCreamedMice Wed 15-May-13 22:36:35

Your reaction is really bizarre OP, you should probably look into that.

piratecat Wed 15-May-13 22:37:20

i remember as a young girl being given money by relatives who i had never met at my grandfathers funeral. i was taken aback. i remember thinking its been a sad day but also quite a good dayblush

Hamwidge Wed 15-May-13 22:38:58

It's happened to me and dd a few times, coins in the pram or her hand. Definitely an old fashioned thing but still a nice gesture from a stranger.

It's not like he tried to take him to a shop or anything, and nothing expected in return.a

trackies Wed 15-May-13 22:39:48

babyboomersrock , yes he was older - 50's maybe. So I have considered that it's more normal for this age group. But you hit the nail on the head as to why alarm bells were going off. I know people who have been abused, my DH was very nearly abducted by a stranger, and i also had a friend who turned out to be a child molester hence my caution.

Really common in Scotland.

This has reminded me of when DS was smaller, a guy came up to us on the street and asked us for £1 "fur a can a lager", I admired his honesty so gave him it and he gave us 50p back to give to the baby! confused grin

Cherriesarelovely Wed 15-May-13 22:40:13

Well my mil does it when we are out and about. Some parents are happy with it and think it is sweet others sort of recoil! I know she is doing it because she loves kids and is being kind.

Geeklover Wed 15-May-13 22:40:56

My youngest ds is forever getting 'pennies' given to him.
It's almost embarrassing. I think he's cute but so do a lot of other people obviously grin
He's usually good for a sub if anyone needs it. wink

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 15-May-13 22:41:07

My DC have both been given money since they were born by total strangers....we're in the NW. When they were babies it was placed on their pram "for luck" and as soon as they could hold it, it was placed in their hands "for sweets". It's traditional and harks back to a long time ago...it's fine if you're with the child at the time.

MildlyMiserable Wed 15-May-13 22:41:43

I think it's a generational thing, definitely a good luck traditional for prosperity (Irish) when meeting a new baby. My DS(9) was loaded after we came back from a few days in Ireland, lots of Euros thrust into his hand. My relatives laughed a lot at him as he was unaware of the tradition and kept trying to turn down the money, telling them all he was fine for money but thanks anyway! Or €20 is far too much to spend on sweets!

Cloverer Wed 15-May-13 22:46:33

Not weird, just a bit old fashioned.

I really can't see the harm in it either? You were with your child, in a public place.

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