Many kids reach a point in life where they are tempted to skip school or ditch classes. Although, this is not usually an issue until the junior or senior high school years, parents need to be aware of the temptation. Preparing themselves ahead of time, on how to effectively handle the situation should it arise.
What are the consequences to skipping class?
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. These rules are set in place in an effort to motivate parents to address the issues early on. Students can also be held legally accountable outside of 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 their 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 or computers, limiting television time, and restricting time with friends outside of school.
Communication creates positive connections.
Ditching school simply to hang out with friends, might best be disciplined with the removal of cell phones and computers. If a child ditches class to avoid academic stress, it is advisable for parents to meet with teacher. Allowing for the opportunity to make a plan that improves classroom situations. Staying connected with a child’s teacher, makes for improved relationships that often result in positive classroom experiences.
Have you asked them why they skip?
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. However, it is really important to set the right tone and follow through with consequences. It is also a good time to try and determine why the child skipped school. Are they feeling peer pressure? Are there academic reasons, such as fear of taking a test or not doing well in a class? These stressful thoughts can have a lasting impact on whether or not the behavior is likely to continue.
Children choose to skip school for a multitude of reasons such as; defiance, peer pressure and or fear. Parents need to be vigilant about monitoring their children’s school attendance. Ensuring that even just that first time of ditching class does not lead to a habit that jeopardizes the education of the child.