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Is It OK for Parents to Sell Girl Scout Cookies for Their Kids?

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The Short of It

Parents who sell their daughters' Girl Scout Cookies for them at work and online are sparking debate.

The Lowdown

You know it's Girl Scout Cookie season when the posts start popping up on Facebook, like "Ashley is selling Girl Scout Cookies! Lemme know how many boxes you guys want!"

I'm not gonna lie; I've ordered a box or 10 of Thin Mints by clicking links on some of my friends' social media pages. It was just so easy! But now some people are pushing back against the parents who post for their kids, saying these families are missing the whole point of the endeavor.

According to the Girl Scouts website, "Every time you buy a box, you help girls learn five essential skills—goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics—all while helping them better themselves and their communities."

You know what skill is not on that list? Delegation. "Parents who do this aren't doing their children any favors, aside from raising profit levels," Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach, told Yahoo Parenting. "The whole goal is to teach children a lesson in how to be approachable and friendly and gracious. You don't want to take away that opportunity by selling the cookies yourself."

On the website Momtastic, one mom wrote the following rant in a piece called, "Why I'm Refusing to Buy Girl Scout Cookies This Year": "When I was a Girl Scout, I went door-to-door and made the uncomfortable asks myself. My friends and I set up tables outside of grocery stores. We called our aunts and uncles in different states. ... I like to think that all my years of getting turned down from my mean old neighbor prepared me for some of the disappointments I've faced in the real world."

And over at Democrat and Chronicle, writer David Andreatta penned another piece titled, "Parents: Stop Selling Girl Scout Cookies." "They're in every workplace in America... the Girl Scout cookie-pushing parent," he wrote on his personal Facebook page. "Don't be one."

The Upshot

I get that some people might view this as just another example of helicopter parenting—another mom presenting her kid with an easy shortcut. But it was the Girl Scout organization that decided to go digital in the first place, rolling out both web-based sales and a mobile app. And with many of the scouts being too young to have smartphones or accounts on social media, how else are they supposed to get the word out there?

Also, I'm not really sure how this is new. It's not any different from me asking my dad to take my cookie sign-up sheet into his office about a billion years ago when I was a Girl Scout. Of course, he was limited to his coworkers. Offering the cookies online gives people the chance to reach even more potential customers. And in the end, isn't that a lesson in marketing?

Do you help your daughter sell cookies or do you make her sell them herself? Tell us your story in the comments below.

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