55 answers

Do You Allow Your Kids to Stay Home from School for "Mental Health Days"

Next year I will have two kids starting school full time.. (all day kinder and first grade). I knwo when I was little my mom let me stay home once in a while and play hookie.. My husband went to school every day ..no matter what.. We were discussing this and I thought the kids could have an occassional day off throughout the year..

What do you mommas do??

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Isn't it called "the weekend," and "school holidays?" I think kids get plenty of mental health days. Shoot, I wish I got a fraction of the amount they do!!

7 moms found this helpful

The way school is being taught these days, how far behind kids get - nope no mental health days. My son will stay home from school for the following reasons:
Sick - contagious - on medicine went to the doctor sick
Funeral - depending on the effect he may have a day or two to greive at home
mmm yep that's about it - maybe the occasional travel day IF it had to be but I would try to have him there for half the day if possible. When I was in highschool my mother allowed me to join in on the Senior Ditch Day and other things like that - but with HER permission and I had to meet a whole lot of her requirements to do so.

5 moms found this helpful

No.
Though once they were in high school I did allow the occasional sleeping in and missing first period (due to late homework the night before.)
They get LOTS of days off, minimum days, etc. plus we sometimes take off early on Fridays for a trip on the weekend so they get PLENTY of down time.
Also, the schools lose money every time they are absent so I don't like to add to that!

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Probably not going to be a very popular opinion but...

I let my kids take "mental health days" once or twice a year. The deal was, there couldn't be any tests that day and it couldn't be on a day when they had a big project due.

My feeling on this is...once you get to be an adult, your responsibilities are so great that while they are still in their childhood, give your kids a day here and there (unscheduled and unexpected) to relish in a day off. When my girls were little, I would go in and quietly wake one of them up, wink at them in the eye, tell them that I thought they had a "terrible fever" and keep them home with me by themselves. After I would take the others to school, we would stay in our jammies, crawl into my bed, eat our cereal while watching t.v., talk, nap, giggle, and spend some real quality time with each other. We wouldn't have soccer games, laundry, shopping, or any chores that day...just the two of us.

We didn't do this often but I will tell you this...they remember these days dearly, as do I. By the way, two of my daughters are college graduates (one in May), both coach soccer teams, are responsible, don't play hookie from their responsibilities or jobs and love spending time with their mama. Isn't that what it's all about anyway?

11 moms found this helpful

I suspect the answers differ depending upon whether momma is home or not.

I'm not. I'm at work, teaching high school. I don't have the luxury to take my child out of school for the day.

Given that there are parents who complain about teachers having so many "days off," I find this question amusing (especially given that I put in 100 hours last week). There are folks who want year-round school so that they don't have to pay for child care when school is not in session. Then they want to take their kids out at their convenience, but want school in session at their convenience, too. They want school to have flex-time for the students but not for the teachers. Let's make it flex-time for all parties involved, perhaps?

If a K student needs a mental health day, the K student needs to learn a new approach to life. That does not mean skip work. That means learn how to approach everyday life in a way that does not result in stress. That goes for the rest of us.

As a teacher, I see too many kids getting "mental health days" who don't need them. Then there are some who could use some training on how to de-stress themselves during the day or after school, but don't get the training. Again, this is basically an approach on life question.

When my mom took me out of school for a dentist appointment (no choice, one car, dad worked at night, the dentist was a distance away), I didn't want to miss school. I would cry. I would be scared that the truant officer would find me. I know, I was a worry-wart. That's not the best approach to life. Being nonchalant about school and work is not a good approach, either.

I have familiarity with kids missing first hour in order to sleep, but they have missed submitting a paper, and have an excused tardy, and want to get full credit for their paper.

I have familiarity with kids who are seniors and have permission from their parents to slack off their final year. Now, put them into a classroom of 36 kids and try to teach. Let's all discuss the story we read last night. Wait a minute. . .Who read the story last night, raise your hands. Anyone? Hmmm, fallback lesson plan is. . .? Why is that my responsibility????

I know of seniors who feel that they are entitled to Senior Skip Day and taking the day off to get their hair and nails done for prom. They'll tell you, "We have a test that day? But it is Prep for Prom Day! I won't be here."

I know of students who have been admitted into college, and then have been told they are no longer invited based upon their senior year scores.

These kids are learning a slacker approach to life. They feel entitled to missing days of work at no consequence.

On the other hand, I also familiar with these kids.

I also know of parents who send their children to math and science classes during the summer and on weekends so that their children will be further along than their cohorts. These kids go to college for math and science while in high school because that is how high their ability is. They join Science Olympiad to compete with other students across the state and nation. They apply to MIT and get accepted.

I know of students who are taking four Advanced Placement tests in one year, all in the month of May, and take "days off" to study for the tests. They are working so hard, they don't know what day it is.

In the International Baccalaureate program, the kids are done with classes in May, but attend and study and take their year-end tests. They have that many tests to take.

These are the kids who are working hard, but they don't take mental health days. Some seem to need them, and others don't seem to need them. What they need is training in how to approach life.

There is a push that a teacher's income is dependent upon the performance of the student. Would you want your income to be dependent upon someone who is allowed to miss attendance at school?

This approach is creating imbalance between what the student is responsible for and what the teacher is responsible for. Pressure has been put onto teachers to get students to perform at higher levels. One basic thing that parents need to take responsibility for is how the child approaches school and school assignments. How is after school time used? Getting exercise? Family dinners? Chores around the house? Watching TV? Hours of video games? Review of school assignments? Independent exploration of things one is curious about life?

We as a nation have a dilemma. We must decide what characteristics we want our citizens to have. Slacker who lets others work, work "hard enough" and for enough hours, hard-working only in what we like, hard-working in what is best for our country? People who see work as play, and have an acceptance of hard work as fun? People who try to avoid work and have no curiosity about life? Who do we want our kids to be, and how do we create them to be that way?

For me, I'm trying my best to raise a child who is curious about life. I try to have her look at life as every moment being a moment to learn. Right now, she's creating a neighborhood map for us to go on an "adventure" later today.

I don't give that responsibility to the teacher.

Perhaps moms let kids play hookie because they know that kids grow up fast and moms want to cherish that mom/kid time. I can relate to that. Truly. I cannot believe how much my child has grown since September. That means we need to re-evaluate how much time we allow as a nation for family time as well as how we want to relate to school.

For me, family time does not come at the expense of learning time, but learning time does come at the expense of hours of training to excel at sports. Exercise does come at the expense of the "entertainment" of TV. Playing an instrument does come at the expense of sitting and listening to music on the iPod (because one is making music oneself). Drawing and daydreaming and creating does come at the expense of a tidy house (paper is everywhere with drawings on all of it, and I like it that way).

What characteristics do we want our children / citizens to have?
What skills do we want our children / citizens to have?
What priorities do we want our children / citizens to have?
How do we want our children / citizens to approach life?
Are we willing, as a nation, to accept the consequences of our choices for our answers to the above questions?

7 moms found this helpful

Isn't it called "the weekend," and "school holidays?" I think kids get plenty of mental health days. Shoot, I wish I got a fraction of the amount they do!!

7 moms found this helpful

we pull our son every once in while from school to do a fun day. in fact in a couple of weeks he is going to miss a monday from school to go with a small group from our church to go to a camp for on overnight. he'll have homework but we'll have friday and saturday to get it done. and then the following friday is a half day so a friend and i are taking our boys on a mini vacation for an overnight of fun so they will miss that day too!! i feel missing a day here and there is fine....as long as they understand homework will still be there!!!

5 moms found this helpful

"I" have had mental health days by letting my son stay home :)

ETA: we've always done private, so no one's paycheck was in jeopardy. I pay tuition no matter what!

5 moms found this helpful

No...they can use their Saturdays, Sundays, teacher-in-service days, holidays, actual sick days, Spring Break, Winter Holidays and Summer Vacation for "mental health days".

5 moms found this helpful

No I do not allow my kids to stay home for no reason. Actually I encourage them to go no matter what unless they are REALLY sick (or have a fever which never happens).

You won't last long in the workforce if you take off for every cold, sinus infection, or 'mental health' day. Do you really want to set them up for failure at such an early age? You are their first teacher so set a good example and send them.

PS There is plenty in life we do not WANT to do but we HAVE to so buck up and just do it!

5 moms found this helpful

The way school is being taught these days, how far behind kids get - nope no mental health days. My son will stay home from school for the following reasons:
Sick - contagious - on medicine went to the doctor sick
Funeral - depending on the effect he may have a day or two to greive at home
mmm yep that's about it - maybe the occasional travel day IF it had to be but I would try to have him there for half the day if possible. When I was in highschool my mother allowed me to join in on the Senior Ditch Day and other things like that - but with HER permission and I had to meet a whole lot of her requirements to do so.

5 moms found this helpful

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