Why It’s Important for Parents to #PayItForward

Why as Parents It's So Important to #PayItForward
Yesterday it was reported that a #PayItForward chain at the local Starbucks here in St. Petersburg, FL was stopped by a local blogger. After reading this story I got pretty angry. I don’t usually let stuff bother me but as a parent and a blogger I was down right pissed. So I googled the “blogger” (I use this term REALLY loosely). It turns out that he was under investigation for extortion of local politicians & medical professionals. While charges were ultimately not pressed this “blogger” did state in email

“If you want to send me a list of stories you find objectionable, I’ll take them down,” Schorsch responded, “so long as you renew your ad package.”

So maybe it didn’t meet the burden of proof to warrant extortion charges but it definitely is an example of blackmail, un-professionalism, and a bad blogger/journalism (if you want to call him a journalist or a professional blogger, which I don’t). I digress so let me get back to yesterdays story and why I think it’s important for parents to #Payitforward.

After I read the story yesterday about him breaking the #PayItForward chain I confronted him on Twitter because I refused to give him pageviews (Which is why I feel he did this stunt in the first place.

The problem with him is his logic and lack of human decency. First of all Starbucks did not start either of the #PayItForward chains. It was thoughtful generous people who decided to #JustBeNice. These simple acts would be referred to as random acts of kindness. Which by definition require them to be random. Are ya with me so far? 🙂

The story goes on to say:

The Times has previously reported that the baristas at the window handled the chain like this: People ordered a drink at the speaker. When they pulled through to the next window, the barista, Vu Nguyen, 29, leaned through and said with a smile that their drinks had already been paid for by the person in front of them. Would they like to return the favor?

This my dear readers is when the Random Act of Kindness was turned INTO a #PayItForward. Paying it forward does NOT require randomness. And if what the Times reported that the barista’s were saying to the customers is true EVERY person had the option to say NO! but they chose to #PayItForward. The “blogger” was quoted by the times saying:

What is not an act of kindness is what was happening today at the same Starbucks, where customers were being told that they had had their drink paid for and then asked would they like to pay for the drink of the person next in line.

That’s not generosity, that’s guilt.

When a new ‘Pay It Forward’ chain started today, I had to put an end to it.

(Guilt you say “blogger”? Hmm that is the cat calling the kettle black don’t ya think?) I don’t believe ANY of those that participated would say that guilt was their motivation to #PayItForward! As for him calling it a “marketing event”, I do not know how the first chain was leaked to the media but the second one was leaked in a comment to the Times the next day by a women who mentioned that she was #37 in the new chain. Sure other local media picked up the story and were reporting on it. Why shouldn’t they? In a time where there is so much bad going on in the world showcasing a story that restores faith in humanity is what our country needs most. Maybe said “blogger” needs to take a personal inventory of his motivations for his daily actions and let go of his own guilt and hatred. I stand by my original response that he only did this for attention and pageviews on his blog, which by the way I haven’t mentioned nor have I visited. HOWEVER, it doesn’t matter to me what his intentions were or What he hoped to get out of the resulting nastiness that he posted on his blog about the #PayItForward chain. You know why?? Because it ultimately turned into a life lesson for my daughter Emma.

Why It’s Important for Parents to #PayItForward

This morning after I dropped off my son to school I stopped by the Dunkin Donuts to get myself a Pumpkin Iced Coffee (Yes they have the Pumpkin flavor EARLY!! Yes I am #PumpkinObsessed ) and to get my daughter Emma a Powerade and a Donut. I decided because of the other “blogger” stopping yesterday’s chain that I would #PayItForward to the car behind me. So when I got to the window I told the employee that I wanted to pay for the car behind me. Emma looked at me and said “Your paying for the person behind us?? Aww that’s such a nice thing for your to do!” To which I replied “You should always do acts of kindness for others when you can!” She then leaned over and kissed my cheek. (Gosh I love her <3!!) When I decided to pay for the car behind me I didn’t even take into account that she would notice. This goes to show you what we do in front of our kids matters and why it’s important for parents to #Payitforward or do random acts of kindness when you can.
I’m not telling you this because I want a pat on the back or recognition. I’m tell you this because after the first time it felt so good to ‪#‎JustBeNice‬ and make someone’s day a bit better that I wanted to do it again. After the first #PayItForward, my husband asked me to bring him coffee at work so I went to 2 more Dunkin Donuts and did the same thing. It doesn’t take much of your time or your money to make a difference in someone else’s life. My small acts of kindness hopefully will have come when they needed it the most and give them the desire to Pay It Forward to someone else. One of my favorite quotes is:

“Be the change you want to see in the world” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

I hope that my example to my children will inspire them to #JustBeNice and #PayItForward for the rest of their lives thus creating a better world!

How do you teach your children to #PayItForward?


  1. We talk about giving and helping and they set aside part of their commission for giving.

    I think if the guy just ended it, it would be one thing, but to them publicize it? He made himself the pr stunt and that’s just tacky!

  2. I think it’s important to pay it forward, like you said just to be NICE not to market off of it. I love paying it forward especially at bakeries of coffee shops just because it makes me feel good inside that I was able to help brighten someone’s day.

    • So true Aly. The thought that my small random act of kindness would put a smile on the person in the car behind me is what made me want to do it 2 more times. It doesn’t take much to be Nice and thoughtful of others. It also makes you feel good. 🙂

  3. I sort of love this. A lot. I think because the people didn’t know when they ordered that this was going on, it was not a guilt thing. People ordered whatever they normally would and were pleasantly surprised at the window, so they then returned the favor. Like you said, they could have said no.
    I was actually the recipient of a payitforward at Starbucks once and was completely shocked…but it made my day. While I didn’t think of it at the time to start a chain (and the Barista didn’t ask if I wanted to do the same), I definitely planned to payitforward to someone else at another point as soon as I left the parking lot. I’ve already done that 10 times over.

  4. I always always always pay it forward. My kids know this about me too, LOL. I am a giver maybe more than I should be at times (I only say that because yes, I have been used a time or two because of it..), but I LOVE giving to others. I love that you paid for the person behind you at dunkin donuts! Good job! And awesome that your daughter noticed!! Good for the kids to learn!~!

  5. That guy at the Starbucks sounds like a real loser. I actually see nothing wrong with him ending the chain – after it becomes such a regular or expected thing it’s not that special or unexpected anymore, but it was ridiculous for him to publicize it! It was like he was looking for recognition as a jerk or something!

  6. I can’t say I’ve spent much time teaching my children to pay it forward yet, but they’re probably old enough now to start. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  7. I think that his bitterness is a sad reflection on how unhappy he is with his own life. Looking for the negative in everything only makes you negative. I was really inspired by the pay it forward story, and found that it gave me a bit of hope in humanity!

  8. Kids notice EVERYTHING we do! I love to pay it forward and do it as often as I can.

  9. Personally I don’t think he is worth the attention he is getting over breaking the PayitForward.
    I’ve paid for others meals a few times with my kids and it always makes my kids so excited to be able to do that.

  10. Ugh what a douche. People like that drive me nuts. It’s not all about him and if you don’t like the pay it forward then just don’t participate or accept the drink paid for you.

  11. I think you teach kids by doing exactly what you’re doing. Model the behavior & explain to them what you’re doing & why. I had someone buy my coffee at Starbucks once, & it made such a difference in my day. I love the whole sentiment.

  12. We had someone buy our entire meal at a restaurant once and I have been waiting for an opportunity to pay it forward when my kids are with me. I want them to experience both sides of that experience.

  13. Just like you did, I think modeling the behavior is the absolute best way to teach.

  14. That so-called “blogger” is a tool. I’m so thrilled you decided to start it yourself. And OMG PUMPKIN?!?! ALREADY!? *rushes off to the coffee shop*

  15. Great post! I need to rush out for a pumpkin latte now. I’m love fall and everything pumpkin. #JustBeNice is my favorite hashtag. Be nice people!

  16. Someone did this for us a couple months ago at Starbucks! I plan to do it the next time we go through the drive thru…which reminds me that I’m overdue for another vanilla bean frappachino!

  17. It’s so important to model the character we want our children to develop. Even when we don’t realize it, they are paying attention.

  18. My children and I did lots of volunteer activities when they were growing up. They still remember and are teaching their children to be charitable now.

  19. I think it’s great for people to pay it forward, but it was certainly his right to choose not to. Just as he claims Starbucks was using it as a publicity stunt, he pretty much did the same thing by his public proclamation.

  20. I think it’s great with people do it. I’ve done it several times too but the last time I have to admit I said no. I went for a $2 coffee and the person behind me had a $17 order and all I had on my was a $5. If anything it made me feel like a jerk. It’s hard to assume the next person has the money on them to pay for the next person. This guy just seems like he’s mad Starbucks got all the attention and he wanted it.

  21. I often use the expression just be nice to my children and the children in my classroom. It’s the little things in life that help our children become better citizens.

Leave a Reply to Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting Cancel reply