Attendance is Mandatory

May 23rd, 2013 § Leave a Comment

Last night, I was at the school “open house” for our youngest. She’s our third, so we’ve been to a few of these. They’re not such a big deal. We know her teacher, and are familiar with her work, so nothing new there. And with fifty people roaming a tiny classroom, there really isn’t much to do but to take a quick perusal and call it a night. Our older ones don’t even care about them anymore … could take it or leave it.

None of this matters though; nobody asked me what I thought. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t really matter what my daughter thinks either. In it of itself, I’m not sure how important last night was for her. That might be overstating it a bit, but for now what matters is what she perceives is the level of my interest in her. That there is what made last night’s “open house” a big deal.

I think the mistake we make is we evaluate primarily the thing itself. We cannot do this, evaluate the thing itself until we have established in their minds our priorities. With our three children, I’ve worked hard at being there … birthdays, holidays, award ceremonies, games, performances. When attending, I’ve worked at being attentive. Like I said, the work has taught me that whatever my kids do is more interesting than the most interesting thing others do. Once they have no doubt about your priorities, then some things will not be a big deal. Until then, attendance is mandatory.

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