That’s one hundred eighty school days times thirteen years of school. Of this year’s crop of seniors, guess how many have that kind of record? Not a whole heckuva lot.
But for all the kudos due Stefanie Zaner of Maryland for her
thirteen years of showing up at school (hey, it earned her a feature in
the Washington Post), there are plenty of reasons not to stress
yourself out about your kid’s not-so-perfect attendance.
As Zaner’s teachers attest, she was an extraordinarily healthy kid.
She wasn’t the kid walking in the door with a high fever and a vomit
bag to make it through the day. That’s luck (and a hearty immune
system). According to the CDC, the average kid gets anywhere from six
to twelve illnesses a year (from the common cold to a major bout with
a bug). Nearly twenty-two million school days are lost to the common
And you know how you stop the spread of all those icky disease? By keeping your sick kid HOME. Hence all those school closures in the face of swine flu, folks.
It’s also worth nothing that Zaner called the last two years of her life the most stressful, period. And it wasn’t just being a kid looking at getting into college. She said the idea of being “perfect” weighed heavily on her. Credit goes to this incredible kid for not crumbling under the pressure, but if she hadn’t grabbed this particular brass ring, would anyone really have thought any less of her? Colleges? Her parents? Her first boss?
If this is something your kid wants to do, and is up to doing, fine. But don’t make it your goal Mom and Dad.