I was sitting in the waiting room of the clinic where I took Riley for an OT evaluation filling out paperwork when I started listening to this girl talking to her dad. She was saying how she was not going to her meeting tonight because it would not count against her. Her dad replied that she needed to go, and she said that she did not see the purpose because she was attending the meeting for something that was not her fault. She sounded like she took the rap for someone else, and now, she was being punished for it by having to go to this weekly meeting. Her dad was telling her that she needed to go anyway because she needed to take responsibility even if she did not do it.
Anyway, the dad got up to look for something and when he came back, the girl started listing off the schools that she had attended, and the last one that she mentioned happened to be the one where I had taught. I looked up then to see who she was and realized that she was in my first kindergarten class. She was a child that got her way a lot and missed school for no reason other than she did not want to go. How do I know this, well, that year, I happen to have a classroom in the front hallway of the school, and she would come with her mom to bring her brother and sister to school, but then she would just go home with mom rather than stay at school. The sad thing was that she was a bright kid with a great deal of potential, but because she did not attend school regularly, she did not make many friends. Her classmates quickly advanced, and that made her not want to attend school even more. No amount of convincing on my part or hearings with the attendance program could get this girl to attend school regularly.
When I look at her now, I see what people mean by kids needing limits and you, as the parent, needing to be the parent and set those limits.