My daughter came home from school yesterday a little lot peeved at me. What do you mean you’re mad at me? You haven’t even seen me all day, how can I possibly have made you mad while you are at school? Well apparently my reach for irritating my kids goes far beyond the boundaries of this house. Score 1 for mom!

She calmly explained that her teacher was irritated that many parents (not just me) have been neglecting their SOLE parental duty during the scholastic year by failing to initial their child’s agenda daily. As a result of this great violation she has started doling out punishments to her students in the form of a detention of sorts by keeping the offending parents child inside during recess.


I had to take a moment and breathe.


Ok, I’ll give her this, it is a known expectation that parents are supposed to review agendas for important notices like upcoming tests or field trips. However the expectation that there would be punishments handed out to children for missed signings has never been established. And frankly, in my experience with children and school and agendas, there is NOTHING critical that’s going to be missed in the daily verbal debriefing by my kids. No one wants to miss the trip to the zoo.

What, exactly, am I “reviewing” in the daily agendas that is so vital to the success of my child in school?

wear red tomorrow for valentines day

library day tomorrow

pizza lunch friday

no school on monday

Nope, clearly none of the above is going to get my kid into Yale so what’s the point? I read all the emails that come home from the school and teacher. I take the time each month to go online to the schools website and download the monthly school calendar and newsletter so why on earth does it go to def con 1 when I don’t sign my kids agenda?

I have been working extremely hard to push some independence on my kids. How about we give them the responsibility to remember that they need to wear red to school or return their library books? How about we let them learn what the consequences of being the only kid in their class wearing yellow on red day or missing out on a field trip? I bet it would only happen once.

What happens next? In middle school will I have to walk her to the bus? In high school will I have to make sure her locker is tidy? If she fails her final exam, do I need to call the school and reason with the teacher?


We buy them knee pads and helmets. We hover at the playground. We follow them around the block on their bikes.

I don’t know about you but I grew up walking to and from school in grade 1, alone. I rode my bike to the corner store to get milk at 8, ALONE! Without a helmet! I was babysitting 4 kids including a new born at the age of 11.

And nobody had to sign my agenda daily.


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