I’ve sensed a collective sigh of relief on the Internet over the last few days as we parents approach the end of the
fucking long school holidays.
Which are, frankly, four weeks too long.
Even Kurt appears eager to get back to school. Now. Today. Or at least until term begins. Or until sometime during roll call when it dawns on him that it is much more fun to stay at home or ‘hang out’.
For those smuggo parents yet to be initiated in the pastimes of certain teenage rebels without any real cause at all (other than destroying their parents lives, obviously), ‘truanting‘ or ‘wagging’ is when kids decide to take the law into their own hands and skip lessons or days of school. It can start around the age of 11 and the kids can turn professional by age 15 or 16.
With only three official terms left to go and in spite of the knowledge that all he really has to do to finish school and get a certificate is to maintain some form of attendance record and complete a few assignments, I fail to understand how my son can get this far in his education and then risk it all so close to the summit.
The problem is, with my newly installed, perfect-parent, anti-enabling strategies firmly in place now, I can’t even give him a helpful foot up or get on my knees and beg him to attend classes.
If he decides to fail, so be it.
So how do you cope when your child wags school?
- Beg, plead with them, blackmail and promise them them every Apple product to be launched over the next ten years? Or in other words, (shudder) ENABLE them?
- Handcuff them to you while they’re still asleep and refuse to undo the cuffs until you can deliver them to their first lesson.
- Try to ignore the glaringly obvious fact they’re ruining their life and last-chance- hotel of ever achieving an academic qualification by doing yoga and ‘chanting’ to yourself all day to dull out the pain of disappointment that insists on ringing in your ears, because you’ve been advised by your ‘bad parent therapist’ that by the age of 17 they have to take responsibility for their actions and need to realize that there are consequences to every bad decision.
- Take the attitude that school doesn’t suit everyone and ce sera? Then take another secret drag.
- Speed-read your way through your parenting manuals and check the section on ‘truanting’, because there must be some way you can justify that this situation can’t possibly be your fault.
- Look up the definition of ‘sociopath’ for the billionth time that month to check that truanting isn’t one of the main signs.
- Open another bottle of wine.
- Lie back on the sofa with your wine and complete online applications for ‘Woolworth shelf stacker’ positions.
- Call a girlfriend and halfway through whining, remind yourself to stop wasting your breath because how can they possibly understand. Their child is normal and doesn’t aspire to be a full-time ‘loser’ when they eventually grow up.
- And breathe…