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Old 08-27-2005, 05:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Wagging school?

Wag, cutting class... I'm not sure if the term is familiar, but it's called wagging school here...

I really don't know where to go with this. This might not seem so much of a problem, but I am having a difficult time trying to justify my initial reaction or answer to this dilemma.

My daughter has come home just recently and wants to know if I will give her permission to wag school next year (when she enters high school) so she can spend a day on on the town with her friends. The reason she is asking is her friends apparently have the permission from their parents, but only if they know about it.

My initial response is "no"... but I find myself stuck because if I say no, she will probably do it anyway behind my back and I'm not sure if it is better that I do know when it occurrs. Also, if I say no, and enforce it, she will be the odd one out amongst her friends and ultimately I don't know how far that will impinge with her relations with her peers.

At the same time, I am not comfortable with allowing it. It's disregarding the law and promoting a behaviour and disrespect I don't agree with.

I really don't know how to go about this. Am I sticking to 'old fashioned' values? What is most important here? What's up with these other parents?

I would love some input.
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Old 08-27-2005, 06:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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you could try doing a deal with her, say she can have her 'special' day, with yur permission but if you find out she has given herself a holiday the deals off. Or link it to her grades or maybe only allow it at certain times of the year. When I was schoolage I was allowed to take my birthday off if it fell on the weekend, no chores that day. Hope you find an answer that keeps family happy
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Old 08-27-2005, 07:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't think I'd allow it. That's the sort of privelege juniors/seniors get, not freshmen. She's toeing the line here, wanting to see how much you'll let her get away with. Having said that, if you do allow it you need very firm restrictions. Have her notify you in advance and tell you where she's going, possibly get her to check in with you on a cell phone or pay phone. Keep tabs on her when she has these days, put a firm limit on how many she can have (one a month is probably what I'd go with) and generally make sure she realizes that this is a privelege and that she'll do it according to your rules or not at all.

I don't know how it works there, but if a freshman here cuts class without a note from a parent the parents get a call. So it'd be tough for her to do it without your permission. Just make sure you have very firm boundaries if you do agree.

As to how the other parents were persuaded? Perhaps they were told that everyone else's parents had agreed too. I'd want to get in touch with them and see if their story matches up with your daughter's.
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Old 08-27-2005, 09:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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At least she asked.
I would set up limits. Number of days, specific days, grades...that sort of thing. Make her earn it.
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Old 08-27-2005, 09:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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"Sorry honey, it's against the law and I just wouldn't feel right doing it." Then, when she tries hard to persuade you (as all good teenagers should do) the answer is, "I'm not ______'s parent" and "good try." Your child (growing up child, true) still needs your guidance and rules. That is why she is living with you and not some other parent or on her own. Doing what is right is not always doing what is easy. Good luck.
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Old 08-28-2005, 03:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sexymama
Your child (growing up child, true) still needs your guidance and rules. That is why she is living with you and not some other parent or on her own. Doing what is right is not always doing what is easy. Good luck.
sexymama: I agree totally with your ideas here.

Bill O'Rights: I am also pleased she asked! I haven't over-looked that either... my main concern is I want to keep this level of communication.

Honestly, I am thinking this is not just a matter of whether she can have a day off school every now and then... it's more that my parenting values don't correspond to the values of other parents. I've taken some time to discuss this with some of the other parents and I'm shocked to see how different these parents are to me. I believe that you should have a good relationship with your children, but I don't believe that treating them like responsible adults (at the age of 12) is the way to do it. We are their parents, we are not their "friends".

I could set limits and let her earn it, but ultimately that is teaching her that she can earn the right to do something wrong. It may not be a big wrong, but it is still wrong. Another factor is that if I allow her to do it because of the pressure that all these other parents allow it, well that's just teaching her that 'everybody' is a victim to peer pressure, you can't fight it.

So, I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I want to maintain values that are no longer valued in the community. And basically my daughter cannot comprehend why she has to suffer for my 'old' ideas.

Another aspect that has blown this out is that one of these parents allowed my daughter to drink alcohol with them while she was on a 'sleep-over'... this just gets better and better... I am furious... I have no words...
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Old 08-30-2005, 07:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Does she miss much school in the first place?

I haven't been sick (or, at least seriously sick to where I would have to stay home) for about five years or even longer now. During highschool the only "extra" days I got off were when I just decided to take it off. Keep in mind I didn't take many off; we were on trimesters and at the most I took ONE day off a trimester, sometimes even less.

Just coming out from highschool, I can tell you that sometimes, well, we don't exactly accomplish much in class. I'm not suggesting that once a week or every few weeks she should be able to stay home, but a day or two a year (maybe her birthday) wouldn't be too bad in my opinion. Although, that whole alcohol aspect changes things a bit and I'd be a bit careful about that.

Also, part of the "deal" if you let her do this could be that she has to study an extra hour or two during that day since she missed school.
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Old 08-30-2005, 04:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My first move would be to talk to the other parents. I would not be surprised if one or more of them said "you can go if 'so-n-so's Dad says yes. Also I am looking at this from the point of a parent of a younger child who likes to say "Their Mom said they could go." when it's not true but I wouldn't completely trust the kid. Besides - if the other parents DID say yes then maybe they can explain their reasoning to you - if there's something special going on that day for one of them or something.

Next up - if talking to the other parent did not convince you then don't feel the pressure to do it. You could even drive to school first thing to check on your kid too. Tell the other parents of your decision as well. It's possible they are thinking the same way as you. Don't let your kid strongarm you with the fear that they'll cut school anyway. Freshman or not - school is important. I can understand a break in the middle of everything like in February when there's no vacation in site but make sure you don't give them a day off just any old time. If they do take a day off they need to make up the homework they missed. You don't get a day off from work without a price to pay - they need to learn that now too.
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Old 08-30-2005, 07:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't think skipping school is in any way "wrong" or evil, as long as she keeps her grades up. If she misses school but gets A's then obviously she is learning her stuff. If her grades suffered, she would be wasting taxpayers' money, which is the only "wrong" that might happen here.

I generally take one day off a year as a mental health day, usually around march when the weather is getting to me. It has never harmed me, but then, I'm a good student. If you don't think your daughter can manage this, then say NO.

I think linking it to her grades is a good idea. That would ensure that she is learning her stuff and no harm is being done. I would NOT allow more than one day--this must not become a habit or she'll be in trouble in college!

I wouldn't let her go out on the town, though--you don't want anyone seeing her and thinking ill of her for skipping school. That sort of thing can ruin a girl's reputation. Instead, have them all over for a movie marathon: you will know where they are and they will not be thought ill of.
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Old 08-30-2005, 09:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I personally wouldn't allow my (nonexistant) daughter to take a day off of school to have fun within her first semester of high school. The first semester can be hard to judge as far as which day will have an important lesson or not, so she would be more likely to miss something important.

Also, when you enter highschool you're often bombarded by freedom. I think that it may be best to set some ground rules now, and allow her to grow toward the ability to take a day off for fun. If the relationship between you and your daughter is as good as it seems, then trust her to not go against your word.
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Old 08-31-2005, 02:44 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeker
Another aspect that has blown this out is that one of these parents allowed my daughter to drink alcohol with them while she was on a 'sleep-over'... this just gets better and better... I am furious... I have no words...
I have seen anyone address this aspect yet and it's absolutely infuriating me. I completely understand your concern.

My advice: Those parents will know how close I would be to pressing charges for contributing to the deliquency of a minor.
My kid would not engage socially with them as a unit. In other words, you can be friends with her, but you won't be seeing her outside of school unless I'm completely aware of the circumstances, and approve of the situation.
She wants to wag off? Not with these bastards! There are entirely too many temptations and pressures out there without some irresponsible parent presenting even a willing child with alcohol.

Sorry if that's harsh, but that just burns my ass!
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Old 08-31-2005, 02:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I would never have felt brave enough to ask in the first place.

Plus - if you allow it WHEN YOU KNOW what's your moral possition when she does it BEHIND YOUR BACK?

As the former first lady was wont to say "Just say no!"
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Old 08-31-2005, 04:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
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First of all, thankyou all for your input. I've cooled off enough to be able to communicate again so here is where I'm at. I might just have to clarify, I have allowed my daughter to skip a day of school occasionally. The deal is she stays at home, no going outside, no contacting friends... she must deal with it as if she were sick. I have found this deterred her from requesting it very often. I also want to mention that she is a great kid... I just want to keep it going in the right direction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acetylene
I wouldn't let her go out on the town, though--you don't want anyone seeing her and thinking ill of her for skipping school.
This is exactly what I don't like about this request. I've seen the kids that wag then go hang out in town. I feel terrible about my judgements, but they look disrespectful and have an attitude I don't like. My concern is how her actions will affect how she is perceived, and she will be labeled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr sticky
She wants to wag off? Not with these bastards! There are entirely too many temptations and pressures out there without some irresponsible parent presenting even a willing child with alcohol.
Exactly! It burns my ass too mr sticky! Yes, this is another underlying factor here and this is what I am up against. I think you are right, there are enough temptations and pressures without the many different parenting values (or lack there of), it's no wonder kids are so confused... parents can't or don't 'stick together' anymore. It's sad and frustrating.

This is blowing off school for a day to go out and have fun with other children that are a result of 'different' parenting. I have considered the advice, and I'm considering dealing with it in this way; She will not be taking a day off with her friends when they call for it. If she does well with her grades and I feel she has earned it, she will be able to take a day (with or without a couple of friends) but I will accompany her (and her friends if it is discussed/arranged by me with the friends parents first).

This isn't exactly the freedom she is asking for but I hope this will be a workable solution for the both of us and help to maintain our honest communication and our good relationship. Feel free to give me your thoughts and opinions, you've all been a great help so far... that's why I'm here
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Old 08-31-2005, 04:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I asked the ex about this one, Seeker, and she wanted me to tell you to stick to your guns. And as a parent who has seen a lot, she wanted to mention also that the slippery slope of influences, coupled with the giddy glory of "wagging" could lead to consequences that you as a parent will do your best to prevent in any way possible. This is what you communicate, and compliance is what you require.
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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In most places, truancy is illegal before a certain age. If a kid violates it, they get sent back to you... and if it's found out that you gave permission, there's no way of knowing if the officer will call child services. You can't exactly give her a permission slip to show a cop if they're busted skipping school.

Also, unless you talk directly to those other parents, I'd bet a cool $20 that the "other parents said it was ok" is bullshit.
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Old 09-01-2005, 08:08 AM   #16 (permalink)
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When I graduated high school I got a "perfect attendance" award for all four years. I rarely got sick, and since my father drove me to the bus (which then drove me to school) I didn't exactly have the opportunity to skip out. It was the best decision my parents made regarding my upbringing. I see SO many people fucking up in college becuase they didnt learn the basic stuff in high school that they'd "never need." They decided they could skip that one class in Algebra I to hang out with their friends ('cause it isn't on the test) -- but guess what -- you'll need it in college!

I bloody hate school but letting your child skip it is telling them they can skip out on things they dont like if they think they won't use it later. Sure, you can even know about it and agree with it .. but do you know whats being taught that day? Maybe it is some super-cool event.. but they're in school until they're 18 because the World is a better place with educated people.
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Old 09-01-2005, 02:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The answer is no.

Maybe her senior year, if she is holding down a 4.0.

But why on earth would one consider permitting a child to break the law so she can hang out with kids whose parents condone underage drinking and don't respect your parental authority?

You think it might hurt the friendship between her and her bad-influence friends? Good. That's gravy.
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Old 09-01-2005, 04:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JinnKai
When I graduated high school I got a "perfect attendance" award for all four years. I rarely got sick, and since my father drove me to the bus (which then drove me to school) I didn't exactly have the opportunity to skip out. It was the best decision my parents made regarding my upbringing. I see SO many people fucking up in college becuase they didnt learn the basic stuff in high school that they'd "never need." They decided they could skip that one class in Algebra I to hang out with their friends ('cause it isn't on the test) -- but guess what -- you'll need it in college!

I bloody hate school but letting your child skip it is telling them they can skip out on things they dont like if they think they won't use it later. Sure, you can even know about it and agree with it .. but do you know whats being taught that day? Maybe it is some super-cool event.. but they're in school until they're 18 because the World is a better place with educated people.
I'd have to disagree somewhat. While letting your teen skip consistently can cause trouble (I had a friend who kept a 4.0 but would miss two or three days a week, so it's not certain), allowing very rare breaks isn't a recipe for disaster. There can be balance between a perfect attendance and a horrible one. Having a day to relax (that's not the weekend when there is schoolwork to do most likely) is nice every now and then and won't hurt a students progress.

Also, I did always know what was being taught on days I missed. All my classes had calenders that we followed.

All in all I think it really depends on the individual child. When I try to address something like this I've noticed that I assume that there won't be trouble (ie alcohol) and that they might just go see a movie or something -- stuff I would do. Some kids might use the day irresponsibily and try to make it an often occasion, while other kids might just take that day off to relax and be prepared to hit the books at school again the next day.
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:07 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Sounds like senior skip day to me... I live in the sticks, so most of our class skipped the day at school, and instead threw a barbeque at one of the town parks. Frisbee, Soccer, grill... It was a good time.
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