Despite what the weather is doing, spring is coming. I have faith that it will show up eventually, hopefully sooner than later. And maybe restless kids are skipping school.
After the article, there are some notes about what is going on with Parenting Today. Take a look.
Is Madison at School Today?
Did you ever skip school? Come on, it’s just you and I, you can admit it.
You and at least one other friend decided to give it a try. Maybe there was an event you wanted to attend or a great sale at the mall but it’s more likely that you just wanted to try it. It was simply a lark. For most of you, one of two things happened. You were so nervous or guilty or both you didn’t actually enjoy any of the experience or you had a ball until you had to come back and find out if you’d been caught and that’s when you became nervous and guilty. Either way even if you never got caught, you didn’t try it again, it was just too darn nerve-wracking.
So, if you discover your child has skipped school, just recall your experience and remember that the most common cause of skipping is simply to try it. It’s a risk that most kids try at some point. Don’t overreact but do let you child know that their behavior is unacceptable and that there are consequences. Work with the school. They may have a protocol for just such an offense and you’re job is to support them. Or you may have to take the lead and for example make sure your child knows that you’ll be checking with their teachers on a weekly basis for a month just to ensure that they are really in class.
But what if she’s skipping regularly? It may be that she was talked into skipping with a friend and they took off a few times and now she’s too nervous to return. If that’s the case, let her know that we all make mistakes and that she can recover from this one. You will be checking with her teachers regularly to ensure that she doesn’t make the same mistakes and also so that she can tell her friend that there’s no way she can continue skipping because everyone is paying attention.
There are other reasons that kids skip school. If it was not just a lark or even a lark with a friend that got out of control, you need to sit down with your child and work out the problem.
Some kids skip because they are angry due to family problems. For example, if you are going through a separation or divorce, have a new partner or someone in the family is sick, this can trigger acting-out behavior. Your child may not even make the connection but you need to take a good look at what’s going on and deal with it, which may involve some family counselling.
Skipping school is a good way for kids to get attention. It may be that you are extremely busy at work. This means long days at the office and being distracted even when you’re at home. The solution here is easy. Adjust your priorities; not easy but your kids need your attention.
There are kids who skip because school is just too difficult for them. This may be academic; they can’t do the work so leave the classroom. Or it can be social; they are being bullied, they are unpopular and can’t make friends. Tutoring, understanding and counselling are all possible solutions.
There are hints when kids are skipping regularly. No homework, no contact with other kids through phone calls or emails. No kids dropping by and your child doesn’t go out with other kids.
The best way to avoid having your kids skip school is to stay in touch. Be an active member on the parent committee, volunteer when you can manage it, go to parent-teacher nights.
The more connected you are, the more connected your kids will be and the less likely you will be taken by surprise by a child who is not in the classroom but hanging out at the food court at the mall.
A Few Things Happening with Parenting Today
Just a reminder for those of you in the Lower Mainland, tonight (March 1, 2011) I will be speaking at Grand Boulevard Parent Participation Preschool. Everyone is welcome. To register call 604-989-3144
I want to thank the Association of Administrative and Professional staff at UBC. We had a great mid-day workshop with an engaged and attentive group of parents. The event was so popular they even had to bring in extra chairs.
I’m planning on being in Calgary Alberta in the spring. Stay tuned for more information. The dates for this trip are still flexible so if you want to take advantage of the fact that I will in Alberta, just get in touch.
For those who plan way ahead I will be in Washington state and Oregon in June 2011 and in Ontario and New England in late September and early October of 2011.
Contact me and let me know whether you would like a Beyond Childcare workshop, a professional development event or a parent keynote. I’d love to be able to take advantage of the fact that I am in your town and can offer you quality parenting information.