It’s 7. You can’t get them out of bed. They say they are sick.
Here’s a Parent Proof Plan on how to decide whether or not your child is legitimately sick, or just has “Testitis,” a sudden case of dread due to an exam.
- Take their temperature… with you present. We’ve all seen Ferris Buler’s Day Off. You can put a thermometer on a light bulb. CFLs? You can rub it on sheets to make the heat from the friction raise the temperature. How do I know? I got the T-shirt.
- Ask to smell their breath if they said they puked. Gross, yes. But if you didn’t actually hear the heaves and/or they didn’t tell you ahead of time that they were going to throw up, I’d be suspect. It’s not a fun time (remember college?), and they usually would call for you before. So if they claim they hurled but they conveniently already finished and flushed, ask to get a whiff.
- Remind them that sleep deprivation is NOT an illness. Yanking them out of bed when they are just too tired may be the repercussion they need to inspire them to get to bed earlier next time. Allowing them to snooze for an hour only enables them to stay up later in the future.
- Tell them that if they can’t go to school, all other activities are cancelled until further notice. No practice. No play dates. No video games. Once they realize they’ll be under house arrest, they may feel cured in five minutes.
- Tell them that you are going to email all their teachers and will have them do a work-from-home session. When they hear of this plan for their sick day, they may realize that it’ll be more hassle to stay home than to just buck up and make it in to pledge allegiance to their education.
That being said, if they DO meet the criteria of having a fever, or signs of any other illness (red throat, swollen glands…) by all means, KEEP THEM HOME! Sending them to school when you know they are sick (just to see if they can make it through… or the nurse can send them home) will only make them worse. AND you’ll wind up infecting the other kids or teacher.
It’s also a good idea to have that emergency plan for when they are sick- is your boss going to let you take a family sick day? Are there any grandparents or neighbors willing to be the stand-by caretaker? Having an “Operation Sick Kid” plan will make the morning a lot less stressful. After all, they should concentrate on getting well; not feeling guilty for putting you out.
Make it your #153Promise to be the best urgent care facility right in your own home.