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Children’s Valentine’s Day Etiquette for School???

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok so here’s the background so this makes some kind of sense: I’m 22, unmarried and have no human children. For the past 8 months I have been dating the divorced/single father of a (wonderful) 5 year old boy. Recently the ex-wife/mom had a new baby by her new husband and has been dropping the ball a lot on the ‘little things’ for my boyfriend’s son. Nothing negligent, just things like forgetting to send the cupcakes to school or whatever – I can totally understand since she has a 4 month old at home now too and is probably really overwhelmed (the new husband doesn’t want to help out much with my boyfriend’s son since he has his own child now…). My boyfriend has been picking up the slack from his end so the boy doesn’t suffer, and of course as his female counterpart he has asked me to help him out with the “mommy†type stuff he doesn’t understand. I don’t mind this at all but I’m stumped here!

Today his son came home from school (kindergarten) very concerned because he needs to take valentines to school for all his classmates and his Mommy hasn’t picked any out yet. The boyfriend called me in a panic and I told him no problem I would swing by and get some after work and we would all sit down and work on them tonight – no big deal, right?

Well it just occurred to me – what is the proper etiquette for a 5 year old’s valentines day? When I was in school all the ‘cool kids’ had candy attached to the cards they gave out – is that still ok or say no to the candies? Does he need to take a card and/or present to his teacher? If so, what is appropriate? Unfortunately he lives with his mother most of the time (we have him tonight) and she gets all the notes home and instructions which she is increasingly bad about passing along, so I don’t have the luxury of looking at that.

Any suggestions? Please?
post #2 of 22
Candy, definitely! I'm older than you are, so it's been longer since I've been out of school but... how can you not add candy to the Valentines? When I was little, I had to get budget Valentines, and we didn't have money for candy.
post #3 of 22
I don't remember ever getting candy with Valentine's cards at school but I don't see a problem with it if you want to! Usually the boxes of cards come with a special teacher's card, but I don't think a gift is in order- aside from the candy
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
We didn’t have money for candy either, but I always wished we did. I wasn’t going to get anything expensive, just like a sucker or a piece of chocolate attached to each one, I just didn’t know if he would get in trouble for that or something.

I’m mainly concerned about the teacher thing. I would hate for him to take something and have that be a no-no, or for him to not take something and be considered rude!
post #5 of 22
I loved getting the valentines with the suckers attached to them! Those were always a hit! You could always get something small for the teacher like one of those small (5 or so pieces) boxes of candy. I think last year they had some at walmart with text style sayings on them. That way its nothing big.
I think it was about half and half when I was in school as to who brought the teachers presents. I normally only took presents to the ones I really liked!
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well he only has one teacher and she has had to work extra hard dealing with the divorced parents, and 'new baby' behavior problems, etc. I think I will go ahead and get her a box of candy or something like that and a card, and then a box of those kids valentines cards for all the kids and we’ll stick some candy to each one. Thanks everyone!
post #7 of 22
I'm a Kindergarten teacher and every school is different.

Your best bet may be to buy the valentines, and get suckers or smarties, or some other type of candy, but not attach it to the card. Just in case there are allergy concerns and the school is extra strict (like mine ). That said, I have plenty of kids who just bring their plain old valentines, and none of them really care at that age. By the time they get home and actually get to open their valentines, they forget who gave the candy to them in the first place.

As for a gift for the teacher, that is completely up to the parents. I've only every got a couple of gifts for Valentines, and that doesn't bother me one bit. I'm still working on the boxes of chocolate that were given to me for Christmas, so, while I always appreciate gifts from students, it doesn't upset me if I don't get them. I don't see anything wrong with you sending a gift from you and your boyfriend and his son thanking her for all the extra effort she has put in. That to me doesn't really have anything to do with the mom.

OH, I know in my class that I ask parents to have their children write their name on their valentines (great practice), but not to put the receiver's name on the card. This saves A LOT of hassle when handing them out, since many of the children can't yet read their classmates' names.
post #8 of 22
If you do candy I'd suggest something individaully wrapped. At that age I think what ever he is passing out to his friends could also be given to the teacher.
post #9 of 22
My son is 10 and I have never put candy on his valentines, but I also send photo valentines that I make myself in Photoshop rather than buy some. It is actually cheaper that way, for me anyway. Most of the kids in his class attach some sort of candy, though.
post #10 of 22
My girls are 12 and 8.

We've never put candy on the Valentines, and when the girls bring theirs home maybe 2 have candy.

Occassionally I've bought one of those $3 tubs of gummy candies from Walmart to send along for V Day.

One thing to remember, is send enough valentines for everyone in the class... if the child doesn't know everyone's name, he can just put "To Friend" on them so noone feels left out. That was a suggestion that came home with my kids...we'd also do up a couple extra in case we forgot someone because they don't always send home a list of how many kids there are in the class.

Kudos to you for helping out
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok I talked to my boyfriend. He got a ‘class list’ from the room mom so we know how many kids there are. I’m going to buy a box of those cards the kids give out and we’re all going to sit down tonight and have him write his name and something generic on each one (so no sorting by name) and send a bag of candy with enough pieces to give one to each student that way if the teacher says no candy they don’t have to try to separate the cards from the candy. We are going to make a craft project for his son of making the teacher’s card and send a box of candy from us to the teacher. I even found an appropriate sized box at work to make his ‘mailbox’ out of – phew. Time to go, thanks again for all the suggestions!
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake_Lady View Post
One thing to remember, is send enough valentines for everyone in the class... if the child doesn't know everyone's name, he can just put "To Friend" on them so noone feels left out. That was a suggestion that came home with my kids...we'd also do up a couple extra in case we forgot someone because they don't always send home a list of how many kids there are in the class.
At my son's school they just tell us not to address the cards, that way it doesn't matter who gets which card, as long as everyone gets one, and the kids don't have to go around and give specific cards to specific people.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CruiserMaiden View Post
Ok I talked to my boyfriend. He got a ‘class list’ from the room mom so we know how many kids there are. I’m going to buy a box of those cards the kids give out and we’re all going to sit down tonight and have him write his name and something generic on each one (so no sorting by name) and send a bag of candy with enough pieces to give one to each student that way if the teacher says no candy they don’t have to try to separate the cards from the candy. We are going to make a craft project for his son of making the teacher’s card and send a box of candy from us to the teacher. I even found an appropriate sized box at work to make his ‘mailbox’ out of – phew. Time to go, thanks again for all the suggestions!
That's what I did when the girls would take valentine cards in. We got a class list, and I think the girls would put names on all of the valentines (when they could read). I let the kids bring in a bag of candy. Even though they'd get a treat on that day too (no parties after K)

I never gave the teachers anything.

Last year was the last year for doing cards. And it was optional (dd was in
5th grade). Only stipulation was- that if you did cards, EVERYONE got one, no matter if you thought someone was a jerk or not. And that's why dd didn't do it. There were several children in her class who were just that- jerks. I told her it would be "nice" to give a card to the difficult kids- but she said she just wasn't interested.
post #14 of 22
I suggest to not give candy. Lots of schools do not allow it and it could cause complications and problems for him. If the school does allow it, every student is going to be eating way too much sugar that day anyway.

Send along a couple of extra valentines, too, they can come in very handy. The teacher should get just a simple valentine.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post
I suggest to not give candy. Lots of schools do not allow it and it could cause complications and problems for him. If the school does allow it, every student is going to be eating way too much sugar that day anyway.
i agree. even in my small school, there's a diabetic child - if this one is larger, there could easily be more than 1.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
We practiced writing to ‘my friend’ (dad’s idea) and his name on all of the cards, I got a medium sized box of chocolates for each of his teachers (teacher and teacher’s aide) and he made cards for both. Apparently instead of giving separate candies with each valentine they said to just send a bag of candy for the entire class and they would distribute at the class party so we did that. My boyfriend was quite relieved I took care of the whole thing! (Men!)
post #17 of 22
Wow, you are a great girlfriend! Be ready for s super-hyper kid if you are with him after school, lol!
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yea I got lucky – the party is tomorrow at school and Mom has him this weekend. I know, !
post #19 of 22
My childrens school is not allowing the valentines to have candies attatched due to allergies and the tainted products lately ( I am releived because of this One of my daughters is deathly allergic to peanuts and the other is deathly allergic to soy) and if you know kids if they get it....they will eat it ( regardless of if it can potentially kill or poison them) lol! So I baked some soy, and nut( and nut product) free cupcakes along with thier valentines!
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
According to the BF the parents had to fill out forms for the teachers at the beginning of the school year so the teachers are aware of the allergies in the class. You can’t send anything in for the class that isn’t in sealed original packaging with the ingredients listed. We aren’t allowed to send in anything that is home made because there is no way for them to know the ingredients. Usually treats for class parties are provided by the same ‘room mom’ who collects money from all the parents instead of by different parents every time, because it would be impossible to educate every parent for the class on what each child needs.

The allergy thing is apparently the reason they had to bring everything in today instead of tomorrow, they have to bring things in a day early for every event according to my BF. The teacher and her aide I would assume have to look at the ingredients of everything and mark down what kids can’t have what items. It all sounds like an awful lot of work, it would be easier to say not to send things to class!
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CruiserMaiden View Post
According to the BF the parents had to fill out forms for the teachers at the beginning of the school year so the teachers are aware of the allergies in the class. You can’t send anything in for the class that isn’t in sealed original packaging with the ingredients listed. We aren’t allowed to send in anything that is home made because there is no way for them to know the ingredients. Usually treats for class parties are provided by the same ‘room mom’ who collects money from all the parents instead of by different parents every time, because it would be impossible to educate every parent for the class on what each child needs.

The allergy thing is apparently the reason they had to bring everything in today instead of tomorrow, they have to bring things in a day early for every event according to my BF. The teacher and her aide I would assume have to look at the ingredients of everything and mark down what kids can’t have what items. It all sounds like an awful lot of work, it would be easier to say not to send things to class!
My daughter is in kindergarten. we were sent a letter saying . If you plan to send Valentines, there must be one for everyone.So that no one will be left out. We are having a party ,please feel free to send home baking. vegetables, candy. No strawberries due to allergies.
post #22 of 22
I just had to share, I don't have children but my coworker was having some trouble finding something fun for the kids in her daughters preschool class.
When we were in Walmart we found individual playdoh containers with stickers for the kids name and who it was from.

Just for the future.
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