A school tubing excursion right after a bout of freezing rain didn’t seem like a good idea to Fariha Naqvi-Mohamed. She kept her son home.
Andy Riga / Montreal Gazette files
March break is around the corner, and while that may mean fancy vacations and cruises to far-off destinations for some, for others who do not have the means or time off from work, it’s either day camp drop-offs or pre-planned playdates with friends or family.Whether it’s planning out activities on the go with your family or sending your child off with friends, it’s imperative for parents to follow their instincts and not allow others to overrule them. At different stages of life, there will always be those who believe that they genuinely know what’s best for your child(ren). Sometimes that will stem from a place of concern, other times not so much.Few things in life are as powerful as parents’ instincts for their child.This past week, my son’s school went tubing the day after we had freezing rain. While the school decided to proceed with the plan, I didn’t feel comfortable sending him due to the ice. I couldn’t quite put my finger on the exact reason, but it was a gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach. So I kept him home. I don’t typically do that sort of thing.I shared my decision on social media to see what those who follow me online had to say. Across social platforms, the results were about the same. Seventy per cent of those who responded said they agreed and would keep their child at home. The other 30 per cent said that if the school deemed it a safe trip, they would send their child. All in all, it drew quite a discussion. Ultimately, I did what I felt was best for my child. I was not the most popular parent that morning. Thankfully, my son accepted my concerns, though not without more than a few eye rolls and exasperated sighs. I am dealing with a 10-year-old boy, after all.Related That situation made me realize the importance of leaning into our instincts. When my kids were younger, I would find myself getting talked into doing what others thought was best for my children and my family partly because I was young, naive and less secure in my ability to parent. Ultimately, I was the one who allowed that to happen, but I sometimes find myself thinking back to that time in my life and wishing I had been more secure in what I felt was best for my children. Technology and social media have made it so much easier to connect with other parents, seek help, reach out and educate ourselves.I believe everything happens for a reason, and I have learned to accept that. I now allow that inner voice to guide me and when it gets louder, I tend to listen more closely. As it turned out, everything went all right with the school trip, his peers had fun and there were no injuries, to my knowledge. But it was bitterly cold, windy and it was held the morning after we experienced freezing rain, so I am at peace with my decision.Some parents like to keep their children home for “mental health days.” This also draws quite a discussion. Social norms and conventions dictate that parents are supposed to send their school-aged children to school. However, following one’s instincts is also essential. Some find it shocking that a parent would keep their child home for a mental health day, but I am not so quick to judge. Ultimately, we have to do what we feel is best for our families.So as those of us with school-aged children embark on March break and make plans, let’s keep in touch with our inner voice and remember to follow our instincts.Fariha Naqvi-Mohamed is the founder and editor in chief of CanadianMomEh.com, a lifestyle blog.twitter.com/canadianmomeh