The ADHD Fix
Do You Let Your Child Skip School?
By Dr. Henry J. Svec
The recent student protest in the United States includes children in elementary and secondary schools walking out with teacher and parental support. The cause to protest is the recent election of Donald Trump as president. In San Francisco, the School District has actually written lesson plans for teachers to teach that he is a racist and many other things that make him not worthy of the election victory.
Politics aside for a minute, and let’s look at the issue of skipping school. Many years ago, I would show up at my children’s school and “kidnap” them for the day on American Thanksgiving to watch football with their dad, eat bad hot dogs and beans and just hang out. Most principals were fine with it, one read me the riot act, but if you are a regular reader of this blog, you can predict how that conversation went. I guess you could call that a day skipped from school with parental permission.
When I was in high school, the odd skip was done to test the system in the hope that your parents never found out because, if they did, it would be a serious issue. In my final year of high school, we were allowed to write our own notes when we skipped, but that pretty much took the fun out of it, so I only wrote a few.
Taking your child out of school to “skip” is very worthwhile, and something you should do at least once a year. Pack the usual lunch, don’t tell anyone other than your spouse, and then surprise your child with a day with mom or dad. Take them out for lunch or just hang out with them at home. Do the unconditional love time exercise I talk about in the book, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31380546-don-t-be-a-wimp-raise-a-strong-leader?from_search=true, and make it a special day.
If the school principal complains to you, indicate that a student is able to be excused from school if they are “receiving appropriate education elsewhere.” Indicate you feel a day with mom or dad fits that guideline and they should back off. If all else fails, tell them Dr. Svec told you so and send them this blog.
In about 30 years from now when you ask your son or daughter about that day when you surprised them, they will likely remember every detail. The Geography class they attended the next day, not so much.
If your child wants to protest something, teach them how they can do that legally, but the best way is to vote when they are able. Voting in a democracy is the ultimate way to tell a politician how you feel. When it comes to skipping school to protest, you need to parent with courage by denying permission. Say NO. If they skip anyway, punish with logical consequences. Except on those days you are cooking hotdogs and beans. As always your comments are appreciated firstname.lastname@example.org.