Should your kid go to the carnival?

Yesterday I got into a text exchange from my youngest son.

Can I please not go to school tomorrow because it is the athletics carnival?

Sorry darling but it is important that you attend school carnivals.

Please! No one is going and I haven’t had a single day off all term!

Mate, I don’t care if “no one is going.” YOU are going. End of story. Do not bring it up again.


I do not understand. When I was at school, we all loved school carnivals! It was a day out of the classrooms, you got to dress up in your house colours and partake in a day of war-cries! You got to eat junk food, get sunburnt, tried running as fast as you could with your mates and YOU WERE NOT AT SCHOOL!

I was fairly average at running, jumping and throwing, but I didn’t care. I would collect participant points for my house and be exhausted at the end of the day.

Is the modern athletics carnival really that bad? Why are kids not going? Why are parents letting them have the day off to avoid being involved? Was I being unreasonable?

So many questions, so naturally I put it to the WoogsWorld Facebook Page, and I was not prepared for the responses!

I let my kids not go. It’s really not a big deal. I loved them as a kid, but they’re different people.

I pick my battles…. If the fight is going to be too huge I don’t engage… and I make him come to work and work his ass off with me

Happy to have all students at the sports carnival, provided there are no ribbons or trophies for first, second, third. Students don’t get told in front of the whole school that they came first in maths/science/humanities. And that’s because we don’t want to embarrass or demean the non-academic students who didn’t come first,second or third. So let’s have some equal treatment and not do it for sports.

Do schools make students attend drama performances or science fairs etc. No so why should students who have no interest in athletics be forced to go and support those who, let’s be honest, wouldn’t do the same in return. 4/5 of mine loved sports day, 1/5 didn’t so never forced him to go. World didn’t end and he’s a very productive employed adult .

Nah let them stay home. My 15 yo has equally attended or missed depending on her social life at the time 😂I ask myself, in 5 years will it matter???? Nope 👎

No you’re not being unreasonable, school is school & even if the kids are not sporty it’s just about having a go . Kids get way to many choices these days.

So many parents enable their kids these days to get out of stuff. It’s really not preparing them to be resilient later in life by letting them have the day off. Parent let their kids pick and choose. They’re letting their kids run the show.

When they make the whole school go and watch the art kids/music kids/drama kids performances for a day; or the science/maths/tech kids for the day – then I will make my completely non athletic/swimming kids go to sports carnivals.

These are just an example of 257 opinions, with a fairly even split of opinions. So why is this happening? Why is there this huge divide between the sporting and non sporting kids?

Ok, so here is what I think the problem might be. Our country puts such a huge focus on sporting heroes. That being great at sport is something great. Don’t get me wrong! The dedication and training that they put in is admirable. But we don’t have the same sort of hype around our arty kids, or our brainy kids.

Also, there is also the fear of bullying, filming performances and sending them around. I get this. There wasn’t the technology around when I crashed through hurdle after hurdle before vomiting at the finishing line. There was no one taking photos on Snapchat of me clinging to the side of the pool in terror.

If your kid begged you not to go to the carnival, what would you do?