4 Reasons Why Mom Won't Let Son Accept Perfect Attendance Award from School


The internet is a strange, wonderful, amazing, and potentially terrible place. While it is not right or wrong in and of itself, it is a tool that can be used both for great good and great evil.

On a slightly less epic note, it can also be used to share advice, perspectives, and differing opinions. At no other point in history has there been such an opportunity for massively different groups of people to be able to communicate with one another.

That means you will get clash. Once you hit “post,” or “publish,” or “send,” you are no longer in control of your words, and they can — and will — be used against you.

That is what one mom’s story is experiencing at the moment. A private decision made public on a blog is now receiving both virtual applause and fiery belittling.

Rachel Wright, from the UK, is an author and a mother. And like many author mothers, she has a blog.

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And on that blog she has a post about a topic quite familiar to anyone who’s had a child go through the educational system. She recently found out that her son had earned the 100% attendance award from his school, and has been quite outspoken about how the family will respond to such an accolade.

They won’t accept it.

There are probably many reasons you can think of that could contribute to this decision, but in case you can’t, she’s provided a list of four reasons why her second son will not be receiving this much-anticipated award.

Her first reason is that “We don’t reward luck.” She goes on to say that she doesn’t believe they should be rewarded for things they cannot control. For example, kids can’t control whether or not they get sick or encounter some other unforeseen consequence.

There are some things that you simply cannot plan for, that fall under the label of providence. We don’t control all aspects of our lives, so why should we receive a prize for something we had no hand in?

Her second point was that “100% Attendance Awards exclude the weakest.” This connects to the first point in that rewarding kids who are blessed in means beyond their control automatically shames those children who are not.

Wright is adamant that those who struggle with weakness, vulnerability, and being sick will be devalued if those who do not naturally have those struggles are recognized for such peripheral concerns.

Third — and probably most relatable to parents everywhere — was “He had no control over his 100% attendance.” She argues that kid #2 did little to personally make it to class on time, and that if anyone should receive the award it should be her for shuttling him back and forth.

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"Would you let your child or grandchild accept an award for perfect attendance at school?"

Her last reason is one that effectively put him out of the running for the award anyway. This one would’ve done it for me.

“We are taking him out of school for 5 days at the end of the term.” Most would agree that school-approved absences for a trip to Italy is a fantastic trade-off (one most of us would jump at), but some readers have complained that this point makes the rest of her points, well… pointless.

Despite that last little caveat, though, this mentality has stirred readers on both sides of the fence. Some are grateful that a mother has finally spoken up about these ridiculous awards that have little to nothing to do with a child’s actual effort or achievement, and cause more division and hurt feelings than anything else.

Others are not as impressed, and argue that the kid could have actively resisted going to class: he had to cooperate to be in the running at all, so he did exert effort and deserves the recognition. Some are saying that robbing a child of this time-honored school award will only be harmful in the long run and may have negative effects on his effort moving forward.

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