The award for parent of the year goes to…
The award for parent of the year goes to…
Parent24 Editor, Scott Dunlop
Lots of us are keeping our evenings open at the moment: it’s ceremony time. When schools select children for awards and recognise achievements made in the classroom, on the stage and on the sports fields. Not every kid gets a chance to make that bashful-sheepish-awkward stride to collect a certificate or cup, but all kids deserve recognition for making it through a year of growth. And so do their parents.

Fortunately most schools do find ways to reward each child or recognise their achievements, even if those achievements are limited as a result of a learning problem, for example. While a certificate for “Progress” sounds like the booby prize, it actually represents a herculean development.
Well done to all of your children!

Then there are other unseen efforts which contribute to a child’s journey through school. Those made by the parents. Each lift to extra-mural activities, each ironed shirt. Every school lunch packed and homework book signed. The mock tests given and listened-to practice runs of orals. Every PTA meeting attended and tuck shop duty carried out.

It doesn’t end there; there’s the coaching of kids to help them become polite and the quiet discussions about life issues such as bullying, lying, honesty and romance. School is about so much more than simply getting to class, learning information and coming home. Even if, when asked what happened at school today, the answer is always “nothing”.

Something which got me thinking this year is that blended families don’t always get a fair swing at the whole school experience. My daughter won a certificate for something, but only her mom and dad were allowed to come to the awards evening. Actually, the school allows for two guests, but that meant neither my ex’s partner nor mine could come along, and they’re both really involved in all of my children’s lives. Fortunately both are also very accepting of the school’s rules.

I wonder how it is for other families like mine: I get on well with my kid’s mom, but some families must have a stressful time when it comes to school events, if there is tension or even fighting going on between divorced parents or parents whose relationship has ended.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re married, divorced, single, living with someone or separated; kids still need loads of help to get through the school day.

As we finish off the school year, I think it would be a great idea to recognise all of you for all that you do for your kids.

Well done!

And if your kids ever ask you what you did as parents, and you struggle to come up with something other than the word “nothing”, that’s simply not true. You did everything.

Why not share your stories with us? Tell us about a challenge your child has overcome this year, and you could win a R250 voucher! Email us:

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