Do you let your kids play hooky from school?

Avatar for melissamc
Community Leader
Registered: 03-22-2007
Do you let your kids play hooky from school?
13
Thu, 01-31-2013 - 12:47pm

I was just reading a piece from Today's website that I thought raised an interesting question, on whether it's okay to let your children miss school for events, fun stuff or just a day off.  Here is the link if you'd like to read it:

http://www.today.com/moms/parents-split-over-whether-its-ok-let-kids-miss-school-1B8186531

When I was growing up, we had to have at least a fever or vomiting before our parents would let us stay home sick, just feeling crappy wasn't a good enough excuse.  There were a couple of exceptions when I was in high school when my parents let me miss for a fun reason (and probably only happened because I was the youngest!).  We did a day trip when my oldest sister was visiting from out of town and another time we went for the day with my dad to NYC when he had a meeting.   I don't think two days in my entire high school career did any harm ;)   I would do the same under very special circumstances, I have let my boys stay home for one day if the grandparents are visiting so that they can have some one on one time with them.  I've also taken my youngest and one of the twins out of school for a week to go visit my parents, my mom's health is too fragile to travel.  I wouldn't take my high schooler out just because with his issues makes it's impossible for him to get caught back up, and I honestly don't think he would want to miss a day either.  I also wouldn't take any of them out for trivial matters like a haircut, and try to schedule all their doctor/dentists appointments for after school if possible.   While my dh was allowed to take "mental health days" in high school, that's not a practice I plan on adopting.

The one part of the article that really has me shaking my head (for lack of a better word) is the mom who will let her daughter be absent for just about any reason, and that her daughter gets A+ for all subjects except ones that have a participation grade.  JMHO, but I think you are setting your child up for very bad habits as an adult.  When she gets a full time job, will she be calling out sick once a week, because she just doesn't want to put in the effort to get up and go to work?  When she gets to college, will she just sleep through her morning class because she doesn't want to go?  If so, she's going to have a huge wake up call.   I consider school to be my children's "job", they have to show up, do their work and get paid with an education.   Fun opportunities need to occur after school hours, just like in the real world.

What do you think?

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Avatar for melissamc
Community Leader
Registered: 03-22-2007
Mon, 02-04-2013 - 3:42pm
LOL, I would've let her sleep in under those circumstances as well. How did the competition go? I'm REALLY enjoying our sports hiatus right now, because I know that in another month it's going to be crazy busy with baseball.

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Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Tue, 02-05-2013 - 10:33am

Thanks for asking!  This is her competitive team and they did wonderful!!  They placed first in their Senior Level 5 restricted division as well as grand champions for level 5, which meant they had highest points scored for all the level 5 teams, regardless of division.  Because of that, they won a paid bid to a huge national competition in New Orleans in April (though I am having trouble tracking it down on the cheerleading website for info on it), which is apparently a really big deal partly becuase of the exposure since this is only the second year this gym has had a competitive team and this particular group of kids has only been together for 6 months, and partly because these kinds of national competitions are very expensive, something like a $150-200 per kid.  They are supposed to have a team meeting soon about it to decide if they are going to actually go since it wasn't on the schedule and wasn't exactly planned for for travel, hotel and meal costs.

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Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Sun, 02-10-2013 - 6:16pm

Yes, we pull our kids out a great deal in the past with no regrets. Both kids did a lot of professional theatre from 4th to 8th grade. This often meant pulling them out early for rehearsals and matinees for months on end. It was fun but they were also working, getting paychecks and being held to adult level responsibilities. We pulled the kids out for 2 vacations (once so DD could accept a national writing competition award across the country and once because we had the opportunity to have some special D.C. tours and dinner at the White House... not with the president, just some family in high places lol.)  I've even pulled them out occasionally for a family Disney day if I feel things are too pressured or stressful. We've always been upfront with the schools and they've always been incredibly supportive. 

There is no question in my mind that my children have gained from these opportunities and it hasn't weakened their sense of responsibility at all. It was always their responsibility to communicate with teachers, to gather and complete the work in advance or have ready to turn in first day they come back. They've continued to be excellent students and always firm about when they can and can't miss.  

Do I think all families could make this work? No. My kids put a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves to do well. They pick-up academic material quickly and easily. They often need someone to make them stop and smell the roses once in awhile. If they weren't like this naturally, I might not have been so open to them missing school.

In the end, if there is an understanding between the school and the family, I don't think it's up to anyone else to object. 

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