Monday, November 06, 2006

Trust but Verify-Kid Sick Days

Dear WTMs, As I have mentioned before, the idea of "Trust but Verify" is a big part of my parenting philosophy. The phrase "Trust but Verify" was used by The Gipper, President Ronald Reagan, when talking about the evil Red empire of the Soviet Union. President Reagan said that he TRUSTED them...But he did not trust blindly. He checked up on them. I find this phrase helpful in parenting. As a youngest child of the family, I was able to weasel out of many things. As a former "weasel" child, I am a natural skeptic when it comes to sick days for my kids. My younger daughter is home sick today. She was up and down last night with an upset stomach and a bad headache. Gave her kid Tylenol and let her sleep on the couch downstairs. However, this AM, I tried to "break" her. Sure, she said she was sick----but I applied just a little pressure to the situation to see if it was a scam. Naturally, we lost the thermometer (again) so I could not check the fever. Dig if you will, my version of "Trust but Verify": "Trust but Verify" Sick Day Treatment: WTM: So...You're sick today? You don't feel any better this morning? Miss Minnesota/Margarita: Yup. WTM: You know if you miss school today, you can't go to SusieQ's house Tuesday for that playdate? (Please note: I am not that harsh---this is a ploy to see just how sick she is) Miss Minnesota/Margarita: I know, I don't care. WTM: And you know you are going to have to stay in your room most of the day, no TV. (Note: As if! Again, this is a tool to get the truth) Miss Minnesota/Margarita: Yup. Usually by the second or third question, the girls will either "break" and confess that they are not that sick OR if they don't, I can see that they really ARE sick. This ends the interrogation. What do you guys do to determine "sick day health"? Would love some tips from other WTMs. They are smaller and younger and smarter than us.


Blogger saintseester said...

I've got a good sick day story for you. My son was around 6 when he had his tonsils out. He did have a rough time with it, but it came time to go back to school. He didn't want to. But he had been up and about, energetic enough. Later that day the teachers called me to come get him because they thought he was still feeling too *poorly* to be there.

I took one look at him and KNEW, KNEW deep in my heart that this kid was faking it.

So we came home. I told him that since he was too sick to go back to school, his doc said he was too sick for TV or toys. I made him stay in his bed with no TV, no videos, NADA, except the schoolwork he was missing, for a full 48 hours.

He doesn't fake it anymore.

11/06/2006 11:09 AM  
Anonymous j-yo said...

I tell my kids that if they'r really feeling poorly, they'll have to stay in bed that day with no TV, books, games, entertainment, etc. They'll have to close the shades and nap. Since they would rather dig sewer trenches that nap, that is usually the deal-clincher.

11/06/2006 11:26 AM  
Blogger Blogarita said...

With my daughter (and now my granddaughter) there was no doubt when she truly didn't feel well. She gets a very obvious I-feel-like-crap look about her, regardless if she has a headache, a cold, cramps or whatever. She couldn't fake that look.

11/06/2006 11:38 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I use the no TV rule too. My daughter calls me every 4 weeks to pick her up from school saying she's nauseous. She absolutely refuses to acknowledge having cramps.

11/06/2006 4:00 PM  
Anonymous gorillabuns said...

i say no barbie time and no spongebob, if that is all a no go then, houston, we have a major problem!

11/06/2006 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Jamie said...

My 4-year-old has already started faking illness occasionally and she's just in the preschool class at daycare. Yikes!

I don't have any great advice, but I do wield the "no television" as mental blackmail! Because no Dora is like denying Ashlee Simpson of plastic surgery.

11/07/2006 5:01 AM  
Blogger Where's the Coffee said...

My mom used your tactics, but they always backfired when she tried them on me. There was nothing I loved more than spending a day in bed sleeping and reading. I always interpreted the "threat" of not being allowed to leave my room as a promise. I missed at least 50% of the Mondays one year in high school. (I was still in the top 1% of my class, or I think she'd have pushed harder.)

11/07/2006 6:36 AM  
Blogger Mari said...

My son is 3 and doesn't go to day care or preschool or anything, but he does try to fake being sick.
"My tummy hurts."
"Do you need to poop? Are you hungry?"
"No. I need to play Spiderman." (video game)
"No. I need some trick or treat candy."

11/07/2006 7:17 AM  
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