Who doesn’t deserve to start their day with a refreshing drink from Starbucks? Well, certainly not kids under the age of five! There’s a reason it is not marketed to kids.

A netizen recently asked, “Am I a jerk for not getting my younger kids Starbucks every day because my wife does it with our older two?”. We need to know your take on the matter!


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The Original Poster (OP) and his wife adopted Mila (10), Grace (5), and Lucas (4) from foster care. Grace and Lucas were in a loving home that would’ve adopted them if they could.

 “We are still in contact with their foster parents and see them every few months,” says OP. 


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Mila’s home was horrible. She was the first to come to OP and his wife, and they spent nearly a month in the hospital. She needed a feeding tube when she came home. Mila has some special needs that are a direct result of that home. 


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A few months ago, OP and his wife got a call asking if they could take a 14-year-old girl, Cassie, from the same home that Mila was in. Cassie’s needs aren’t as severe as Mila’s, but between that and the fact that she’s years behind in school, regular schooling would’ve been difficult for her. 


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OP’s sister was a teaching assistant for special education at their local school district. It was so bad that she didn’t even last a year there. When she heard about the girls, she said not to allow them to end up in special education in their district. 

His wife quit her job and homeschooled Mila for the first few months, but she’s not a teacher and doesn’t know how to help Mila the way she needs it. 


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They started looking for special needs schools and found one over an hour away that they loved. OP’s wife got a job in the office there, so they got cheap tuition for Mila and Cassie when she started school there. 

“The girls are doing great at this school, and we’re considering moving closer to it to make life a little easier,” says OP. 


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The issue is that OP’s wife, Mila, and Cassie are out of the house by 6:30 every morning. Cassie is up by 5:30, and Mila is up by 6. They’re all tired when it’s time to go to school and work, so as a treat, they go to Starbucks every morning. 

“Mila gets a hot chocolate, Cassie is allowed to get a small coffee, and my wife gets a coffee to help them get through the morning.”, says OP. 


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They are not always the best at getting the cups out of the car by the time the younger two see it, and lately, they’ve been throwing temper tantrums every morning when they pass by a Starbucks. 

“My wife thinks we should just get it for them, but I don’t want to. I think it’s a waste of money, and they can have chocolate milk at home. Am I a jerk for not getting them Starbucks?” asks OP. 


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“Not the jerk. Treats are fine, but a 4 & 5-year-old has no reason to go to Starbucks. If they’re going to fight you, wash the cups & pour chocolate milk in them.” 


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“Not the jerk. You can do ‘special’ drinks at home. We do milk with a strawberry on the side of the glass, or you could do a full hot cocoa bar. Sprinkles make everything special. 

Explain that the little ones get the special home things, and the big ones don’t because they’re in different places and need different things, so it can’t be the same. Also, you sound like an amazing family. Thank you.” 


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“Not the jerk. Occasional treats are fine, but when you get kids into a habit like that, it’s a waste. Yes, they’ve been through a rough time, but that doesn’t mean you encourage an unnecessary habit. Starbucks isn’t cheap! It adds up so quickly. 

It doesn’t mean you entirely cut the occasional coffee & chocolate treats for them. Maybe one trip every week or another week versus doing it daily.”


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“No jerks here. Your wife can choose to bond over a shared ritual with the older girls, but that doesn’t mean you have to do the same with the younger kids. It would be nice to get reusable Starbucks cups and serve hot chocolate to the younger kids occasionally when you feel like it. This shouldn’t affect your wife’s bonding ritual with the older girls. 

My mom used to take me to the gas station almost every morning when she bought her treats for the day, and she always let me pick one out to bring to school, too. It’s a cherished memory, 30 years on. Don’t make this an issue for your wife. Figure out your own tradition with the littles and make memories with them.” 


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“Not the jerk. Consider making it a double-digits thing. Neither of the younger two will hit double digits until Cassie is a legal adult and hopefully getting her own Starbucks if not already out of the house.” 


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