Sending "goodies" to school... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 06-11-2008, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dsd's bday falls on a day that we are taking her to school. Her mom sent over "goody" bags to send in with her, although we had offered to take care of that. The bags include two minibags of candy plus a couple of toys.
We are not comfortable with sending candy to school-in fact, I remember specifically at orientation the principal asking that we NOT send candy or treats for b-days, but instead send a small toy, or pencils, etc.
So, we have taken out the candy and replaced it with an organic fruit twirl. we plan on sending the candy back with a note explaining that we didn't feel it was appropriate.
We generally have a good relationship with dsd's mom, on the surface. However, I know this is going to make her mad. What would you do? Suck it up and send the candy? Or replace it and hope for the best? I guess I already know that we are replacing it, I'd just like to see what others thought...
Incidentally, the goody bags were to be transported to school in a shopping bag with a picture of a woman's bare midriff in lowrise jeans on it..keeping in mind this is a 1st grade classroom! Am I the only one who thinks this is wildly inappropriate?!

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#2 of 22 Old 06-11-2008, 10:48 PM
 
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I think replacing it is fine, but telling her it was "inappropriate" might be picking a fight. I'd just replace it and if she asks, you can offer to return the unused candy. If the subject never comes up, then drama is avoided. If it does, then you can tell her it was the rule as you understood it and give her the candy back. When the kids show up here with candy, we just toss it. No drama.

And yes, I'd used another bag without sexualized disembodied female parts on it.

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#3 of 22 Old 06-11-2008, 11:53 PM
 
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(sigh) I'm no fan of giving kids more candy, but I think you were probably out of line on this one. If it was going to be a problem with the school, and you wanted to send something else, it should've fallen to your DH to make the phone call and deal with his ex. If that wasn't possible, it's up to the school to make the intercept. But I don't think it was your place or responsibility to block something the mother wanted to send to school. If you wanted to send along a note or email the principal saying "so sorry, this isn't from us", then I think that's fine.

I agree with violet, too, on the "inappropriate". That's a determination for the school to make, and theirs to deal with.
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#4 of 22 Old 06-12-2008, 02:08 AM
 
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I would have been mad about the removal of the candy. The schools say they don't want it but lots of people still do it and the school allows it...under the radar I guess. Did you talk to your dcc about this? Had this been something between them and the mother that they had worked on? I know my kids would be really upset if they told their friends they were bringing candy for their birthday and ended up bringing organic fruit twirl. Some of the most upsetting school memories for me involve my mother and her insistence on health food at all costs.
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#5 of 22 Old 06-12-2008, 06:09 AM
 
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*I* try really hard to pick my battles with my EXDH. This is nothing something *I* would want to nit pick over. *I* feel that you/DH are picking a fight with this one. I really doubt that anyone at the school would even notice 2 pieces of candy much less say anything about it.


Myself...I would have just made new bags with my own things in it and sent those too. I would have made some cute little tags or labels and put "from DS and Daddy" on your bags and made the same exact tags but put "from DS and mommy" on hers. This way you are leaving it up to the school to decide if they want to take the candy bags away and if they do DS still has goodies bags to give out. If nothing is said then he has 2 goodies for his friends.
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#6 of 22 Old 06-12-2008, 08:23 AM
 
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I support your removal of the candy... I wouldn't make an issue of it with mom, but you could keep the candy for a while to give back if it comes up. I agree that, if asked, you should go with a "that's the rule" not "it was inappropriate."

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#7 of 22 Old 06-12-2008, 08:32 AM
 
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I have to agree with the OP.
If the father expressed that he would want to send the goodie bag and the mother sent something anyway I think the father has the right to either return the bags completely or edit them as he saw fit. If the school rules say no candy then I don't see what's wrong with actually following the rules.
I would have done the same thing. And really those organic fruit twists are really like candy anyway. I doubt the kids noticed.

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#8 of 22 Old 06-12-2008, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the thoughts-
I should have been more specific-my dp and I discussed this together and both agreed it was inappropriate. I in no way planned to communicate this to dsd's mom. Dp is always the one to communicate with her on any issue, save very minor "sorry I forgot to send the matching sock back" etc. and for short chats during pick up/drop off. Sorry for the confusion.
Dsd and Mom did not talk about the bags. Mom picked it alll out and put it together. However, when we talked about it with dsd she said she thought mom would be sad if we changed them and was afraid that the kids only liked candy.
We ended up putting everything in, and my dp will just ask dsd's mom not to send candy for us to send to school anymore.
I don't think it was nitpicking to want to have some hand in what we are sending to school. We did not want to put dsd in the middle, (nak) and she agreed that next time we would plan it out better, so it was left as is.
Thanks again.

I should add that this comes on the heels of many talks with dsd about proper nutrition, as she was getting into the habit of buying school lunch (pizza, hotdogs, icecream) every day. We really try to counteract that at our house, and while she is definitely not restricted from all treats, we do try to stay away from a lot of candy, preferring to bake our own cookies etc., or to make fruit into a yummy dessert. While the two pieces of candy themselves are not a huge issue, they are part of a larger problem.
I am surprised that some of you feel like school rules about candy should just be ignored b/c the school lets is slide a lot. I think candy in school and school food in general are again, part of a larger problem. JMO, but I really wish those rules were enforced with some regularity!

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#9 of 22 Old 06-12-2008, 10:44 AM
 
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We would have been similarly annoyed if DSD's mom had done something like that. We don't send things over to her house for DSD to take school when she has DSD.

In our case, DSD's school sends home bulletins and they mention, almost weekly, when the day for that month is to bring birthday treats (they do it all on one day) and that they want things that are somewhat healthy. So for her birthday, DSD and I made "healthy" cookies. I feel like teachers have enough on their plates, and a simple request to not send candy into the classroom is not too much to ask. Also, chances I would have bought/made something already, long before DSD's mom sent over something, are probably good. I tend to plan ahead.

In your case, it sounds like you reached a good compromise. It is hard when one parent does something behind the other parent's back (I phrase it like that because your DP specifically discussed it with your dsd's mom and she ignored it).

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#10 of 22 Old 06-12-2008, 11:04 AM
 
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In all honesty, if I had been in the situation of the Mom, I'd have simply taken my goody bags to the school myself. But, if I hadn't, I'd expect Dad to contact me if there was a problem. And yeah, I'd be pretty ticked if stepMom decided to swap things out. If Dad refused to contact Mom about it, a second set of goody bags would have been the way to go. IMO.
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#11 of 22 Old 06-12-2008, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=pinksprklybarefoot;11451415]We would have been similarly annoyed if DSD's mom had done something like that. We don't send things over to her house for DSD to take school when she has DSD.

I feel like teachers have enough on their plates, and a simple request to not send candy into the classroom is not too much to ask. Also, chances I would have bought/made something already, long before DSD's mom sent over something, are probably good. I tend to plan ahead.



Yes-I had already bought things, because I assumed since it was our day to take her to school we would take care of it, and because I specifically wanted to avoid giving out plastic toys and candy. I read your post about the school outfit-I hope it all worked out for you.

apprently the teacher's policy is that if candy is given out in school it must be taken home to be eaten. So basically, that way the parents have to deal with it.

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#12 of 22 Old 06-12-2008, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=mtiger;11451552] And yeah, I'd be pretty ticked if stepMom decided to swap things out. QUOTE]

Again, I want out that this problem was between dp and dsd's mom-I in no way contacted her about it, and according to her, my dp is responsible for swapping things, not me.
I did buy things for the bags I had planned because I am a SAHM and I have more time to take care of those things since my dp is working two jobs.
I think two bags would have been overkill-I was hesitant to send in a goody bag to begin with.

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#13 of 22 Old 06-12-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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[QUOTE=greenemami;11452583]
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
And yeah, I'd be pretty ticked if stepMom decided to swap things out. QUOTE]

Again, I want out that this problem was between dp and dsd's mom-I in no way contacted her about it, and according to her, my dp is responsible for swapping things, not me.
OK. In that case, he can do three things:

1. Get on the phone with his ex and explain that the school doesn't allow it (was she at the orientation? If not, was this info in a sheet sent home to her?); would she mind if he swapped out the candy.

2. If she objects, leave it in, call the office, and apologise; also send whatever treat he thinks appropriate.

3. Avoid putting dsd in the middle and making an issue of it.

This is for her birthday, right? Presumably that's the thing to focus on. Not on what her other parent did wrong for her birthday.

My xh takes our daughter to McDonalds and to the "pie restaurant" for choc-chip pancakes for supper; his parents cook big breakfasts with bacon and frosted rolls and all kinds of stuff I wouldn't have here. Xh's family is all overweight, some of them obese, all of them sensitive about it. Dd is on the chunky side herself.

Occasionally I will remind xh what the ped's said about her BMI percentile, and suggest appropriate portion sizes for a child her age; I'll also give nutrition info sometimes. But again, choosing battles is important. Dd and I talk about healthy nutrition, exercise, and keeping our bodies healthy, but I'm not going to talk with her about "getting too fat" or put her in the middle by telling her that her dad and grandparents make poor/inappropriate food choices.

The bottom line is that my daughter will live. She's already old enough that she tells her father no, on her own, about some foods; eventually she'll decide how she wants to take care of her body. If she grows up eating partly like an American, and she wants to change, she can. She has my example here, and even if she didn't, it's amazing what you'll find in libraries.

If her dad sent a giant hydrogenated-oils/corn-syrup cake back with her to take to her hippie daycare for her birthday, I'd say, "oh, isn't that great," and let her take it proudly to the daycare, where I'd apologize to the staff and they'd assure me it's fine and they'd deal with it. It'd be part of his showing he cared about her birthday. The daycare people know how to deal with this sort of thing (and it sounds like the teachers at your school do, too). It's not rare; it's a consequence of living in the culture we live in. I would also email her father as it got closer to another potential cake time and remind him that the daycare prefers __________ for treats.

(shrug) I think the important thing to focus on is that your dsd's mom wanted to do something for her daughter's birthday. Unless she's sending live tigers, I'd let whatever it is ride. The very same way you let it ride when your aunt gives you something ugly and environmentally unsound for Christmas.
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#14 of 22 Old 06-12-2008, 04:55 PM
 
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I totally agree with the previous poster. This is about the kid not the parents. I think putting a kid in a position where they have to worry about upsetting their mother is terrible whichever parent is coming from. I.e., if mom was like "it makes me sad you didn't use my goodie bags", I think that would be unacceptable. Same goes for questioning the kid about the goodie bags. I've said this before, but I also think occassions like birthdays or graduations or school performances, etc "belong" to one parent b/c it falls on their custodial day. I think they are for the entire family and should be worked out jointly - or, if that can't be done, then each part of the family should contribute what it wishes.

As for the candy/nutritional aspect, I think that's a value judgment and if there is not agreement from both sides of the family then the child will just need to get used to different norms at different households. As long as neither parent judges the other then the child should be able to adapt to this.
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#15 of 22 Old 06-12-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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When something like this happens to us, we see it as an indication that we need to be clear about how some aspect of our co-parenting works. There are lots of things that you don't realize are an issue until they come up, and sometimes the parenting schedule doesn't create the issues for quite a while, or things change in life (new school, activities, etc) that brings up new things... anyway, maybe your husband should talk to his ex about it so they can decide ahead of time how to handle it for next time.

I totally understand not wanting to be in the position of taking something to school that is against a policy, but also not feeling like you can just go against the other parent, and trying to weigh your step-daughter's feelings against it all and decide how to handle it so you don't seem like you are judging her other parent... it's sort of a rock-and-a-hard-place situation... and one you can hopefully avoid finding yourselves in next time!

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#16 of 22 Old 06-12-2008, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks again for the input. I just want to say in closing, (because I tend to take everything too personally-hence why I rarely post! ) that we did try to communicate-we said we had already bought something small for dsd to take to school, mom said she wanted to take pretzels into the class. No problem, right? She changed her mind and didn't mention it, we were annoyed, but in the end did nothing b/c we didn't want to put dsd in the middle. She wanted to take mom's candy, she took mom's candy, end of story. Dp did tell dsd's mom that he wasn't comfotable taking candy to school, and next time we'd take care of it.

"I also think occassions like birthdays or graduations or school performances, etc "belong" to one parent b/c it falls on their custodial day. I think they are for the entire family and should be worked out jointly - or, if that can't be done, then each part of the family should contribute what it wishes."


I wish it were that simple-we have invited dsd's mom to events that happen on our day on numerous occasions, which she always refuses. We have requested to have one big bday party for the whole family (both sides), but again, she doesn't want to. So, we are left trying to enjoy the time we have with dsd for her bday, and yes, trying to make it as great as we can

Okay, now that you all know more than you ever wanted to I am going to put dd to bed!

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#17 of 22 Old 06-12-2008, 08:44 PM
 
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I do have a problem with the quality of food at school but I do not have a problem with treats for birthdays. My kids school feeds them crap for lunch even though lots of the children started ordering baked potatos and salad when they were added to the menu. So many in fact that they stopped allowing the kids to order that because it was too labor intensive to provide that for the students (it had been intended for staff and parents). Feeding them that stuff and then saying no to candy is just ridiculous....anyway back to the point. Despite regulations the classes do seem to allow celebrations and candy and even allow the eating of it in class despite saying it must be taken home. No school or daycare my kids have attended has allowed homemade food.

I was not bullied much in school but one area that I remember with pain was food and celebration. My parents were so strict with food that the teachers were instructed not to allow me to have any of the candy and cake other kids brought. They couldn't stand to see me sitting there the only one not eating that they would leave me in the classroom. I missed birthday parties and I would dread my mother making something for school. When I had birthday parties no one wanted to eat the whole wheat cake.

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#18 of 22 Old 06-12-2008, 08:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post
I should add that this comes on the heels of many talks with dsd about proper nutrition, as she was getting into the habit of buying school lunch (pizza, hotdogs, icecream) every day.
Probably OT, but did anyone else find this kind of odd? A school that serves this kind of stuff at lunch on a regular basis is going to set rules against a piece of candy or two for a kid's birthday?

What am I missing?


ETA: Looks like great minds were thinking alike!

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#19 of 22 Old 06-12-2008, 09:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Belia View Post
Probably OT, but did anyone else find this kind of odd? A school that serves this kind of stuff at lunch on a regular basis is going to set rules against a piece of candy or two for a kid's birthday?

What am I missing?


ETA: Looks like great minds were thinking alike!
In my kid's case, the rules about no candy are because so many kids have food, specifically peanut, alergies. At my DD's (public) school, it isn't just discouraged to bring candy, it's not allowed. You can bring things like erasers, pencils, but no food items.
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#20 of 22 Old 06-13-2008, 04:04 PM
 
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I think that mom probably feels bad that she won't be there for her daughter's birthday, so she wants to send something. I think it's kind of mean to try to prevent her from doing that. It's fine if you want to add stuff to the goody bags, but I don't think you should ask her to leave it up to you.

Of course, that's my opinion from over here. I'd likely be much less rational if it was me!

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#21 of 22 Old 06-14-2008, 07:29 AM
 
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I love getting candy and cupcakes and cookies sent to school...it means I get some too (usually)!! However, a lot of school districts are cracking down on it hard and would not allow the teacher to give it out until the end of the day when the students are going home if at all.
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#22 of 22 Old 06-16-2008, 01:56 PM
 
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I think this is a hard situation, because as a mom and an almost stepmom I can see both sides. As a mom, I would want to send along a goodie bag with my dd to her class, especially if I wasn't going to be there. I think that my kids would probably be nagging me about it forever, probably even asking if I could especially put candy in it (even if I wasn't supposed to). I don't think my stepkids would be that specific with me, but as a mom, I would automatically want to prepare something for their class. If someone else did it, I have to admit my gut reaction would be to feel like my territory was being encroached on and want to do the treat my own way. However, in these situations, especially as a stepmom, we do have to stand back and pick our battles sometimes.

In fact, I was in a similar situation as the mom, it sounds like. I had bought dss some shirts to wear to school when I was out shopping for all the boys. I gave them to dp's sister (who watches the boys before school and has all their school clothes, we can think of her as the "mom" in this situation since they have no bio mom). Apparently, the shirts were too big, in her opinion, so instead of telling me so I could exchange them, she put them away and told dss that he could wear them next year. Three months later, I found this out and felt a bit hurt and confused for several reasons. A: I felt that she assumed I would not be able to just go swap the item myself. B. I felt that she was being passive agressive because I encroached on her job of buying and dressing the children. C. I felt like maybe she didn't like me or was scared of me, because why is it so hard to just say - oh the shirts were too big - can you take them bag and get a smaller size? It was silly. In the end, I let it go, because really it's not a big deal. It's an example of how miscommunications can cause assumptions and hurt feelings, though.

OP, I think you did the right thing by letting it slide. If someone swapped out my goodie bag, I would be really hurt, even if I did it wrong and it was well intentioned. On the flip side, I could totally see myself doing the same thing you did. It's complicated, huh.
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