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
Thu, 01-31-2013 - 2:38pm
I'm always up front with the school as well, ashmama. If I pull them out because the grandparents are here, than I tell them that. Since my in-laws only make it up here once a year,, than I feel the time with them is more important. I do prefer it when they visit in the summer versus the school year. Just makes for a less stressful visit when we don't have school and sports taking up most of the day.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Thu, 01-31-2013 - 1:33pm

I think there's something really wrong with a society where kids feel so pressured they need to take mental health days just to stay mentally healthy. My son missed all or part of about 20 days (yes, 20 days) during his 8th grade year because he was depressed and anxious. We never lied and called in sick--I told the school exactly what was going on and they were fine with it. His grades did suffer, although I don't think it's possible to know whether this was because of the mental health issues or the missed days. He's now in a small independent school with a much better work/life balance and has not missed one day of school for anything other than a fever or once, a trip to my parents' 50th wedding anniversary party.

I think it's fine for kids to miss a day or two for special occasions, but it's important to set a good example and tell the school the truth. I'd never call them in sick if they weren't really sick, for example. I also don't think it's cool to pull kids out early every Friday during ski season just so you can get a jump on the traffic heading up to your mountain house, as many families in our old school did. That disrupts learning not just for the students who leave, but for the whole class as the teacher has to waste time catching the kids up.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Thu, 01-31-2013 - 1:14pm

My DH is pretty lax when it comes to things and he would be more lenient about letting the kids play hooky.  I, on the other hand, don't let them unless its a pretty good reason.  Visiting relatives, unless it can't be avoided and scheduled for a non-school time, isn't a reason IMO.  But I am also like you, school is their job and it sets up good work ethic and habits for later down the road.  I can always tell when my ODD is truly sick, unless she's truly sick, she'd have an anxiety attack if she missed school!  I do get frustrated at times when I call teh doctor or dentist to schedule an appointment specifically when they have off of school and am told the office is closed because of the same reason.  Really, can't these offices schedule a day or two a week or a few days a month when they are open later in teh evening for us working parents with kids in school?  But that's another topic altogether.

I did have one friend through high school and into my 20's that would regularly call in sick for a mental health day or if she had went out drinking the night before and had a hangover.  She didn't have a retail job or anything, she actually worked in a doctor's office or for a time in a hospital.  While I understand mental health days, things like a hang over are IMO just unacceptable as an adult, and I know that her parents didn't set a very good example when she was in high school.

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