There comes a time in many kids’ lives when they are tempted to skip school or ditch classes. Usually this is not an issue until the junior or senior high school years, but parents need to be aware of the temptation and be equipped to effectively handle the situation if their kids decide to skip school.

Sometimes one of the most overlooked, but highly important issue, is that of the truancy laws in particular areas. Parents need to be aware that truancy (unexcused absences from school) can actually mean financial fines, community service hours, or even jail time for the parents of kids who skip school. While this is done in efforts to motivate parents to address these issues early, parents who face these consequences can also then harbor resentment toward the student or the school. Students can also be held legally accountable outside of the consequences the school mandates. Some truancy laws will require that driving privileges are revoked or community service hours for students are required.

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Sometimes parents are naïve and assume that their child will never consider ditching classes, so they fail to discuss possible outcomes and consequences. It is important, however, that all parents discuss with their children the rules of school attendance. Parents should make sure the kids understand the school policies, such as those that might affect sports eligibility, and any related truancy laws. Parents also need to make certain their children understand what the consequences will be if they skip school. Each family will have their own rules, but some common discipline methods are taking away cell phones and computers, limiting television time, or restricting time with friends, especially if hanging out with friends is a motivating factor for that child to skip class.

Most schools will notify parents when a child chooses to cut class. Parents might assume that it is just a onetime mistake and not fully address the situation, but it is really important to set the right tone and follow through with consequences. It is the best time to try to determine why the child skipped school, whether because of peer pressure, or academic reasons, such as fear of taking a test or not doing well in a class. These different reasons can have a large impact on whether or not the behavior is likely to continue. Kids who ditch school to hang out with friends might be best disciplined by having those ways to connect with friends, such as cell phones and computers, removed from access. However, when a child ditches class to avoid academic stress it might be necessary for parents meet with teachers and make a plan to improve the classroom situation. When teachers are connected with parents, the improved relationship often results in positive classroom experiences.

For many reasons, such as peer pressure, defiance, or even fear, children choose to skip school, even when they know they might be caught. Parents need to be vigilant about monitoring their children’s school attendance and ensure that even just that first time of ditching class does not lead to a habit that jeopardizes the education of the child.

There comes a time in many kids’ lives when they are tempted to skip school or ditch classes. Usually this is not an issue until the junior or senior high school years, but parents need to be aware of the temptation and be equipped to effectively handle the situation if their kids decide to skip school.

Sometimes one of the most overlooked, but highly important issue, is that of the truancy laws in particular areas. Parents need to be aware that truancy (unexcused absences from school) can actually mean financial fines, community service hours, or even jail time for the parents of kids who skip school. While this is done in efforts to motivate parents to address these issues early, parents who face these consequences can also then harbor resentment toward the student or the school. Students can also be held legally accountable outside of the consequences the school mandates. Some truancy laws will require that driving privileges are revoked or community service hours for students are required.

Sometimes parents are naïve and assume that their child will never consider ditching classes, so they fail to discuss possible outcomes and consequences. It is important, however, that all parents discuss with their children the rules of school attendance. Parents should make sure the kids understand the school policies, such as those that might affect sports eligibility, and any related truancy laws. Parents also need to make certain their children understand what the consequences will be if they skip school. Each family will have their own rules, but some common discipline methods are taking away cell phones and computers, limiting television time, or restricting time with friends, especially if hanging out with friends is a motivating factor for that child to skip class.

Most schools will notify parents when a child chooses to cut class. Parents might assume that it is just a onetime mistake and not fully address the situation, but it is really important to set the right tone and follow through with consequences. It is the best time to try to determine why the child skipped school, whether because of peer pressure, or academic reasons, such as fear of taking a test or not doing well in a class. These different reasons can have a large impact on whether or not the behavior is likely to continue. Kids who ditch school to hang out with friends might be best disciplined by having those ways to connect with friends, such as cell phones and computers, removed from access. However, when a child ditches class to avoid academic stress it might be necessary for parents meet with teachers and make a plan to improve the classroom situation. When teachers are connected with parents, the improved relationship often results in positive classroom experiences.

For many reasons, such as peer pressure, defiance, or even fear, children choose to skip school, even when they know they might be caught. Parents need to be vigilant about monitoring their children’s school attendance and ensure that even just that first time of ditching class does not lead to a habit that jeopardizes the education of the child.
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Your friend and fellow parent,


Charles Murray
Parenting Coach, Author & Speaker

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