Celebrating birthdays at school

Filed under: Big Kids, Holidays, Day Care & Education

Ellie's 7th birthday falls on a school day this year. In the past, she attended a small private school where bringing treats to share with the class was not only allowed, it was expected. But now that she is public school, the rules have changed and the birthday goodies are banned. Instead of sharing cupcakes with her class, Ellie will hear her name mentioned on the morning announcements and her classmates will present her with a birthday card.

For me, that works just fine. We celebrate Ellie's birthday with a special family dinner out where she is allowed to bring a friend or two. She also gets a party - this year at a pottery painting studio - where she can invite anyone she wants, including classmates. I think that is enough, but some parents disagree.

When Woodhull Intermediate School school in Huntington, New York banned treats from the classroom, some parents thought it was unfair, even "un-American". Others, understanding the desire to keep the sugary stuff out of the classroom, think that healthy snacks should be allowed. A fifth-grade teacher at the school says, "It's like they're telling us to ignore a child's birthday."

But I agree with the mother who pointed out that birthdays don't always have to be about the food. And as the arrangement at Ellie's school proves, there are other ways to acknowledge a child on his or her special day. What do you think about banning birthday goodies from the classroom?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.