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Playing hooky: a parental judgement call

May
24

Well, I did it: I kept my son out of school on Friday even though he had two tests and a project due. And I hope I’m not getting him in trouble by posting on it.

Okay, so the truth is I arranged with his teachers to have him take both tests on Thursday, and hand in his portion of a team alegebra project the same day. So, the damage was minimal, if there was any at all.

But in the end I reasoned that he wouldn’t remember that day at school in years to come. He will, however, always remember our day: We went to the free Green Day concert at Central Park for the Good Morning American summer concert series.

Needless to say, it’s his favorite band, and pretty high on my list as well. And I can’t ask for a better day, nor a more fun outing for him (above). No, that’s not me on the right. I took the photo. (I still have a tad more “coverage” on my head—no offense to the man in the photo.)

Anyway, this has been a periodic judgement call for me, as it is for many parents, I suspect. I had the day off, so it was no issue on my end. But education is important, and occasionally parents may opt to keep the kid home. I handle it on a case-by-case basis, but it’s something I take seriously.

I spoke to a couple of other parents at the show who had done the same thing, and they had all made the same decision: That it was a treat worth cutting school for the day.

Is it something that can be abused? Certainly. I have friends who were periodically kept home from school for a “mental health day,” which I think is of limited value for most kids, depending on age and circumstances.

But the question is when do you think it’s okay to have your kid play hooky?

One final note on the show, it really was a treat. I’ve blogged on the music element of it on The Listening Room, our music blog. But for those that didn’t see it, here’s a clip from GMA:

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 24th, 2009 at 11:57 am by Jorge Fitz-Gibbon. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Activities, Childcare, Developmental issues, Discipline, education, Emotions, Entertainment, Family, Fatherhood, Grade-schoolers, Health & safety, Holidays, Lateness, Learning, Media, Music, Parenting, Relaxation, Rock concerts, School, Single parents, Summer, Vacation, Values, Working parents

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3 Responses to “Playing hooky: a parental judgement call”

  1. David V.

    My great aunt was a teacher, and she used to tell my mom that she shouldn’t hesitate to take her kids out of school for a day here and there for educational events.

    Education is more than just sitting in a classroom, and a day or two of work can be made up. Sometimes, much more valuable lessons can be learned outside the classroom.

    Still, it’s a slippery slope, so it shouldn’t be done habitually. It also becomes more difficult to do this as a child gets to more advanced grades, and has more going on in school.

    For now, just enjoy the fact that he still likes to play hooky with his dad. Soon, he’ll be playing hooky with his friends, and hiding it from you…:)

  2. Jorge Fitz-Gibbon

    Those days will come soon enough, my friend. And you make a good point on that: I have always been aware of the fact that he will likely not want to spend so much time with me when he hits his teen years. So these are times to be treasured.

  3. domaisogs

    Various of people write about this issue but you wrote down really true words!!

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About this blog
Parents’ Place is a hangout for openly discussing the A’s to Z’s of raising a child in the Lower Hudson Valley. From deciding when to stop using a binky to when to let your teenager take driving lessons, Parents’ Place is here to let us all vent, share, and most of all, learn from each other.
Leading the conversation are Julie Moran Alterio, a business reporter and mom of a toddler, Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, a reporter and single father with joint custody of a 9-year-old son, and Len Maniace, a reporter and father of two sons.


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About the authors
Julie Moran AlterioJulie Moran AlterioJulie Moran Alterio, her husband and baby girl — “Pumpkin” — share their Northern Westchester home with three iPods and more colorful plastic toys than seems necessary to entertain one tiny human. READ MORE
Jorge Fitz-GibbonJorge Fitz-GibbonJorge Fitz-Gibbon has been a journalist for more than 20 years and a father for nine. READ MORE
Jane LernerJane LernerJane Lerner covers health and hospitals for The Journal News in Rockland, where she lives with her husband and two children. READ MORE
Len Maniace.jpgLen ManiaceLen Maniace is a reporter and father of two sons. READ MORE



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