I rarely speak about the business side of things. I prefer to focus on sharing information that directly relates to children, families, and education. However, today there was an incident that immediately made me concerned about an advertising venue.
I was invited, as were many others, to attend a promotional event. The guest list was supposed to be small so I chose to RSVP. If the event was larger, I would not have gone because two of my children have sensory issues and it can be easy to meltdown when there are a lot of people or is a lot of noise. I often do bow out of events because they are highly likely to be triggered in some situations.
When we arrived the room was a decent size for the amount of people invited and the food was fabulous. We appreciated it! There was a bit of noise, but that happens when you have children in a room. One of my children began crying quietly because the noise was overwhelming so we sat together for a bit. He decided he would be okay so we stayed. Then, about 20 minutes later, he began to get upset again as did my other kid with SPD. At that point, I knew it was time to go. Yes, I would love to stay, possibly win a prize, and chat with others, but my kids come first. Also, calming a kid in full meltdown mode is quite the task. Why bother letting it escalate that far? That is not necessary.
I, then, instructed my children to gather their things and throw away any trash. I realized that the hostess was trying to get a group picture at this time, but meltdowns were coming and I knew staying was not an option. I explained that two of my children have SPD and in order to help them calm, I needed to go. I did give permission for pictures to be taken and used. (The form did not list which event, though.) I did not say that I would make my children take pictures if they did not want to or that we would stay even if meltdowns ensued.
The hostess, then, began to get upset. She tried to bully me into staying. She said that my release meant I HAD to stay for and take the group photo. She went on to say my kids had to do the same. I tried to explain, again, but she got more agitated and began ranting about losing her job. Look, I get blogging assignments (including one just like the event today) sent to me all the time. I rarely take them. If others do take them, then rock on!
The hostess was unbelievably rude. She was so very inappropriate and such a bully that I handed back the “goody” bag of discount codes that every adult received and my children did not get the goody bags for kids before we left. Now, I don’t care so much about that if it calms the raging host, but it really isn’t fair kids to miss out because they have special needs.
I understand about work, but my kids come first.
I, unfortunately, will no longer advertise with Macaroni Kid because of this anti-special needs response. This behavior is not what I expect from a hostess or business owner. I cannot support those who care more about adult ego or cash than about children’s needs.
My alliance is with children including those with special needs.