I'm an adult woman with no kids and no intention of having any, but I am a bit concerned about other people's kids.

Today in the supermarket I decided to buy some potato chips, among others. While I was queuing to pay, I noticed that in front of me I had a mother with her kid (who, I guess, was around 6-7 years old, in case that is relevant), and that their shopping contained basically healthy stuff.

Then I wondered if in such a case I'm being a bad example for the kid. More concrete, in case his parents are really trying to teach him good eating habits, is there a possibility that I'm inadvertently contributing to jeopardise this possible good teaching?

If so, would it be appropriate to avoid if possible having kids near me while queuing in the cash desk if I buy some junk food again? Or am I overthinking this situation?

  • 3
    The parent needs only to say you are a bad example, or that what other people do is not our family's business. I'd say that last to my child.
    – WRX
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 1:25
  • Mother to child: "Look at all the horrible unhealthy food that person is buying. We would become ill if we had to eat all that unhealthy food". That said, I never cross the street in a way that would be dangerous if a child copied me (without adult awareness of traffic and traffic situations) when I child can see me.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 0:37

1 Answer 1


You are way over-thinking this. What you present for this parent is an opportunity to teach their child that other people make decisions that are different from their family. This child is going to encounter plenty of classmates that have junk food at their houses. Learning to evaluate food choices when others are making alternate food choices is a life skill.

Besides, it is highly unlikely that a brief encounter with a stranger in a grocery line will affect a child's food choices. He is much more likely to be affected by his parents, his friends, and the sponsors for his favorite television programs!

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