At the end of the school year, schools often hand out a number of different awards to their pupils before the summer retreat period. The “Perfect Attendance” award is a popular example of one of those awards, given to a pupil who hasn’t been absent or sick in the whole year.
The award ceremony usually is coupled with tons of cheering and applause, but this mom didn’t agree with the message that the Perfect Attendance award gave to children.
Author and nurse Rachel Wright from the United Kingdom heard that her son would be receiving a Perfect Attendance award, but she turned it down.
Even though rejecting a prize does seem weird, especially if it’s for your child, but she explains perfectly in her blog post “Why my son won’t be accepting his 100% attendance reward” that she posted online.
“No. 2 son has been awarded an evening at a soft play center because he has 100% attendance at school. He loves going to soft play, he loves going out with his friends, we love it when school reward[s] him BUT he won’t be going. Here’s why…
We don’t reward luck.
In this family we will think of as many reasons possible to praise our children. We will celebrate and reward them, but being lucky enough not to get sick is not one of them. He’s lucky to have not developed a fever, had an accident or live with a chronic illness.
Can you imagine a work place that at the end of each week marked out all the people who hadn’t been sick? Where all the departments with the least number of people off were rewarded — in front of everyone else? It happens in schools all the time.
Can you imagine what kind of atmosphere that would create with people who had days off because of bereavement, mental health problem or chronic conditions? What on earth are we teaching our kids about value and worth? What are we teaching them about looking out for each other and looking after the sick or disabled in our community?”
Her reasoning continues, stating that she believes that children of her son’s age don’t have enough control of whether or not they go to school. When a child is absent, it is sometimes because of a family situation and out the child’s control, which doesn’t make it fair towards other children.
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“He had no control over his attendance,” she continues. I took him to school and it would have been my decision to keep him off. I should get the reward (or not) for his attendance.”
Rachel’s blog post has quickly amassed quite the popularity on the internet, with dozens of comments from other parents applauding her reasons to reject the award.
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Source: Born at the Right Time