It’s no secret that your child’s education is of unparalleled importance, but there are times when deciding whether or not to send them to school is a complicated proposition. Even if you’re striving for a perfect attendance award, life has a way of spoiling your plans with unpredictable events. These are ten of the situations in which it’s generally considered acceptable to keep your kids home from school.
- She Has a Fever – A fever is the body’s natural response to infection and is a line of defense against any germy little invaders, so it’s a smart move to keep your feverish youngster home for the day. Even if she seems to be feeling well enough to go to school she could very well be contagious, and other parents will thank you for not subjecting their kids to her illness.
- She Has Digestive or Intestinal Symptoms – Whether she has a fever or not, even if her illness is not contagious, anything that causes your child to vomit repeatedly or have diarrhea is automatic grounds for staying home. The distraction factor aside, the likelihood of an accident is fairly high with younger children that aren’t yet adept at reading their body’s cues, and the attendant embarrassment from losing control of bodily functions is just not worth a few extra grade points.
- There’s Been a Family Emergency – Accidents, serious illnesses and other family emergencies are a perfectly acceptable reason for a missed day of school or two, especially if you have to travel as a family to manage the crisis.
- She’s Being Bullied Incessantly – While you don’t want to keep your kids home from school indefinitely out of avoidance of a bullying issue, you may want to consider a temporary leave of absence while school administrators address the situation. Chances are, the torment she’s on the receiving end of will be a distraction from her studies anyway, and a day’s reprieve can help her recuperate from the trauma.
- Someone Within the Family or Close to Your Child Has Passed Away – Even if funeral ceremonies are still in the works, the news that a loved one has passed away is likely to be so upsetting to your child that she has trouble focusing on her schoolwork anyway. Her grief may even be a distraction to other kids, as well as embarrassing to her, so you may want to consider a short break to allow an appropriate amount of time to grieve.
- She Has Pink Eye – Pink eye is highly contagious and extremely uncomfortable, and school administrators are sure to send your child straight home when she shows up with the signs of a pink eye infection. Save yourself the trouble of being forced to go back and pick her up and just make arrangements for her to skip school until she’s fully recovered.
- You’ve Found Signs of a Problem With Head Lice – Lice are another highly contagious childhood malady that’s quite common, but still cause for a break from school until all signs of the infestation have been eradicated.
- She’s Experienced a Traumatic Event – A natural disaster, car accident or even a particularly scary story on the news can be traumatic for children. You may find that it’s better and more manageable for her to stay home until she’s calmed down than to send her to school. Anxiety can also increase exponentially in crowded places for some kids. It should go without saying that any intimations of impending violence or rumors of an event that makes your child feel unsafe at school is immediate grounds for a day at home.
- You’ve Planned a Special Occasion – It’s not a smart move to make a habit of scheduling special events that conflict with the school schedule, but there are times when it’s just not avoidable. Rather than forcing your child to miss out on an exciting event or scrambling to reschedule at a less convenient time, you may want to consider a one-time-only reprieve from classes in order to allow your child to participate.
- She’s Under an Inordinate Amount of Pressure – Pressure to succeed academically or even to fit in socially can become overwhelming at times, and your child may simply need a break from time to time. If you think that your child is in danger of burning out completely due to the amount of stress she’s facing, it may be better in the long run to give her a mental health day every once in a while.
In the end, you’re the only person who truly knows whether or not a day of missed classes will have a negative impact on your child. Before making the decision to condone a bit of class-cutting, consider any academic struggles your child may be facing and the projected impact that missing a day of school will have on her grades. After all, an education is an essential aspect of your child’s future success. If you find yourself frequently debating the wisdom of sending your child to school, you may even want to consider making the switch to homeschooling in order to ensure that her education continues despite any social or health struggles she’s facing.