It is important that we have good attendance to keep our jobs, and I see it as a life skill; learning to be dependable and punctual, showing commitment. I do not think it is ever to early to start instilling these skills into our kids. They are most often involved in sports, dance, music or the arts and they have the opportunity to learn about commitment early on. When involved in a team sport you are not only showing personal dedication, but devotion to your teammates.
We are lucky that my son has not missed a soccer or baseball practice or game in 5 years. He missed his first occurrences of anything that I remember this spring after surgery, missing 3 karate sessions. He is very dedicated to what he chooses to partake in and is a relatively healthy kid. That being said, kids get sick. Families take vacations. Life happens. These are all acceptable excuses to miss a class or a game. However, teaching about dedication we can also teach about courtesy. We can be great examples by notifying our coaches, sensei, voice instructor, or person facilitating our activity when our children are going to be absent. A quick email, text, or phone call goes a long way. The earlier you know of the absence in advance, the more use that information is to the facilitator.
We’ve been in positions before where our team is desperately waiting for another to show so we do not have to forfeit or this summer my son had a karate instruction where only 4 children have shown from a class of 12. For the people who have spent time before planning a lesson or batting order based on a general expected attendance, no shows, especially many, can change all their plans quite drastically at the last minute. New this year to our baseball league was a game day app – a game reminder and a simple click to confirm attendance sent to your email. It is a great initiative which makes the RSVP for practice or games easy! It would be a great system for other organizations too!
We recently missed a Pegasus Swimming Bowmanville Zoo day. The reasons to miss the trip only came up the morning of and we quickly sent a note to the organizer just to let them know we could not attend. Although they may not have specifically been counting on us to attend (it was a fun day attending the zoo with other swim families), it was a gesture of courtesy. This is something I think is just as important as learning to keep good attendance. We would expect to hear from our friends if they couldn’t make it, or we would call into work, so why shouldn’t we give coach a heads up too?