Parents Who Get Super Competitive Over Girl Scout Cookie Sales Need To Chill Out‏

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GS cookies

It should come as no shock in this world of moms and dads wanting only the best for their Special Snowflake that just about any kid-related event can become fodder for competition between parents. After all, doesn’t every parent want what’s best for their child and for them to come out on top whenever possible? Of course. However, not every parent goes to the crazy lengths that these moms and dads of Girl Scouts are going to make sure their daughter is the highest cookie seller in the land.

From Today, we have the story of parents trying to out-sell each other in the workplace with one of the very best products money can buy — Girl Scout cookies. The ensuring awkwardness for their customers/co-workers must be horrible to deal with.

“We have at least five to seven moms selling every year,” Julie Grayum, a publicist in Houston, told

She used to buy several boxes from each, but stopped last year when her niece joined Girl Scouts’ Brownies organization — now she says she only buys the cookies from family.

“It always got awkward,” Grayum said, especially when colleagues switched suppliers. “I hate to say it but yes, I have seen cookie wars here. People say, ‘Oh, you always buy from my daughter!’ but then someone new pops up…I can imagine how they feel. It’s just like any business, you have a customer and they go elsewhere.”

It is understandable that a parent who brings the order form to work year after year would get used to certain repeat customers but there is no excuse to get upset if someone decides to sit out buying from your child. Sometimes, like with Julie Grayum, a member of their family becomes a Girl Scout so they buy from them instead or maybe, another parent simply beat you to the punch. Either way, there is no excuse to start a battle over something the scouts should be (mostly) handling on their own anyway. It really misses the point of the entire exercise if the parents are the ones doing the hustling on behalf of their daughters:

Ashley Loberger, a high school senior and 17-year-old Girl Scout in Hillsboro, Oregon, told it’s “definitely a problem” when parents get too involved.

“If parents are competing to sell cookies, then girls lose this valuable learning experience,” she said.

This is certainly true. My daughter is a Brownie this year and although my husband and mother did bring her order form to work, we had her ask our family and friends herself. We also took the approach of leaving the order form in the break-room with a note explaining who it belonged to so people wouldn’t feel pressured to buy from us. A reasonable parent has to understand that no one is obligated to buy from their daughter, even if they have in previous years. There is no need to get worked up about this. We sold a modest amount of cookies this year and we are proud of our daughter for the part she played in it. There was no way any work relationships were going to be damaged over this — it’s just ridiculous to be so competitive over it.

For their part, the Girl Scouts issued a statement that while parents are allowed to help, it is expected that the girls do most of the legwork. I can remember walking up and down my street when I was my daughter’s age selling cookies and it taught me a lot. It can be easy to want to do things for your child so they can be number one but in the end, their learning experience will mean a lot more than the amount of cookies they sell.