We’ve all heard about Stikeez by now; the ‘free’ collectable miniature rubber toy characters that Pick 'n Pay tellers slip into your shopping bag, provided that your total shopping bill is over R150.
In some cases, the Stikeez craze has had the whole family involved, with less than a month to go before the closing date for the Stikeez competition.
Read more: How South African parents shop for their kids
Shopping with kids
In a recent article (amongst many other Stikeez-related articles), published by CherryFlava it has been rumoured that Pick n Pay sales have increased by 12% since Stikeez were introduced as a new shopping incentive.
While some families have been enjoying collecting the various Stikeez characters, many parents have been opposed to the new craze entirely.
It only takes reading a few mommy blogs and Facebook pages to acknowledge the immensity of resentment and general upset that has erupted between parents and the creators of the Stikeez trend.
Parents have spoken openly (and in some cases rather aggressively) about the negative effects that Stikeez have had on their parenting-styles, routines and strategies.
Take a look at some of our Facebook fans' responses:
"YES as rewards! NO when in cases where extra, unneeded, un-budgeted items get put into trolleys to push the total over R150/R300/R450 etc because spoilt brats throw tantrums because they want. I get stikeez when I receive them by purchasing only what's on my list and not a single item more. And they are used as rewards for good behaviour, completed chores and doing good for someone else." -Chantelle Visser
"A nightmare, it was fun in the beginning but now, argh." -Elize Skriker
"Yes of course!!!! Every child needs to learn how to collect something!!!! I know I did, Pokemon discs, or even Dragon ball Z.... its a toy dammit! And you get it for buying foodstuffs! i think its a bonus!!!!" -Jeanne Potgieter
"Fun at month end when buying groceries, but with 3 kids it can become complicated in the middle of the month" -Jolandie Koekemoer
"Yes. We all collected things when we were kids. I give away my age but we used to collect the grey rubber disks in coke bottle tops and swop those at school. Well done PnP! Certainly got me shopping there." -Cathy Heaton
Toughen up and control your kids
From temper-tantrums, screaming matches and fighting between siblings all to do with Stikeez, what does this say about the amount of control parents have over their children’s behaviour?
Effective parenting strives to ensure rational, responsible and respectable behaviours from children through consistent and constructive forms of discipline.
If your child is behaving badly over something as little (that’s in size and metaphorically speaking), as a Stikeez (not entirely sure what the singular word for this is) and you can’t effectively manage this, what’s going to happen when a new (possibly bigger) craze starts up?
More than one child?
One of the more significant complaints about Stikeez comes from parents who have two or more children to consider.
It might not be too late for you to initiate a Stikeez intervention with your children. You’d need to spend over R300 to qualify for two Stikeez, but here’s an alternative option:
-The next time a craze like this hits, collect Stikeez (or whatever the trend is) as a family.
-Upon your first shop, appoint yourself as your family’s Stikeez General Manager.
-Explain to your children that there will be one Stikeez for each shop (or for every R150 spent) and that no one gets their own Stikeez, they belong to the family (much like the 2 litres of milk sitting in the fridge which everyone makes use of).
-Stick Stikeez on your fridge and hope that they don’t unstick themselves and pop off. Admire your Stikeez as you collect and reunite them with their friends.
RESULTS: Your kids will be less likely to shout, cry, tantrum, pull each other's (or your) hair in the shops and at home and you no longer detest the Stikeez initiative. No one has to suffer over a piece of rubber any more.
This could also set a precedent for other situations where kids are found fighting to the death over who gets what. Should we really be buying each of our kids separate collectables? Think of DVD's, books or games. Wouldn't life be so much easier if these sorts of things belonged to the whole family?
Use it, don't use it
Sure, there are some things that are specific to each child and you can't always give your kids one of everything to share, but in the case of certain family-collectables, why not try it.
How do you manage your kids and their Stikeez (or other collectables)?