Missing school for sports? What kind of parent are you?Posted: September 9, 2011
Here we are, not even a full week into the school year and my son’s going to miss an afternoon of classes for sports. Yes, I feel like an ass and was going to enter myself into the contest for the parent with the most screwed up priorities. Then I saw some of these photos, immediately revised my assessment and decided I was being too hard on myself.
If your kids play sports long enough, at some point your student athlete will be asked to leave school early or miss an entire day, sometimes two. I blame tournament organizers for this. At this particular tournament, we have two Friday games, one game early Saturday, then if we don’t make the quarter finals, we’re done. Done by 10 AM Saturday, but will miss a day of school to get games in on Friday. This makes no sense to me.
So, as a parent, what do you do? Do you walk the parent walk? Isn’t school more important than sports? What message are you sending here, huh?
The way I figure it, you’ve basically got three options:
Option 1. Go to school.
Option 2. Call your kid in sick and go to the tournament.
Option 3. Plan for it in advance, be truthful and accept the consequences.
Yeah, I know that option 2 is pretty attractive. And therein lies the opportunity to teach your kids one of those really important LIFE LESSONS that parenting experts are always yakking about. We all make choices. And if you choose to miss school for any reason–a week in Disney, family ski trip, Uncle Mike’s wedding–you are going to have to make up class work, reschedule a test, find someone to share their notes. So that’s why Option 3 is the winner here.
It’s rarely a surprise that your student will miss school so look at the syllabus and see what is planned for that day. I ask my kids talk to the teacher a couple days in advance and let them know of their absence, try to get any homework assignments in advance, and make arrangements for makeup tests or quizzes. Find out what the teacher’s policy is for accepting late work. And then follow up when your student returns to make sure everything gets turned in.
Don’t feel too guilty. Kids can learn things even when they aren’t in school. This view on Athletics Do Offer Lessons that are Missing from the Classroom illustrates some equally important lessons learned from participating in sports. My kids don’t like to miss school, not because they love school so much but because they know it’s double the work to make it up. Did you know there are actually Facebook pages dedicated to missing school for sports? No doubt started by kids.
A few days here and there are perfectly manageable but there are reasons we have truancy laws in this country. So in the interest of equal time, here’s the legal view of Absenteeism and Truancy. Really, the bigger issue here is these dang tournaments and their ridiculous schedules. Does anyone have any ideas on how to fix that?
Play safe and have fun!