Mom won't let her son accept his perfect attendance award, saying it's unfair to other kids.

You remember what it was like as a kid.

At the end of every school year, there was a ceremony, or at least an announcement of some kind, where a handful of students would receive an award for "Perfect Attendance."

There was much applause and admiration for these heroic kids.


Maybe you got one of these awards yourself. Maybe you simply sat there feeling strangely bad about the one time you had a cold and had to stay home.

If only you had gutted through it, you could have had some of that applause, too.

Well, one mom has had enough of perfect attendance awards. In fact, when her son's school offered him one, they turned it down.

Photo by Rachel Wright, used with permission.

In a post on her blog, U.K. mom and author Rachel Wright wrote about the experience and her reasoning behind the decision.

It might sound strange at first, but she makes a lot of great points. Her biggest gripe? Kids can't control who gets sick and when:

"In this family you are not shamed for ill health, vulnerability or weakness. In this house you are not encouraged to spread germs when you are not well. In this house we look after ourselves and the weakest amongst us.

Can you imagine a work place that at the end of each week marked out all the people who hadn't been sick? Where all the departments with the least number of people off were rewarded — in front of everyone else? It happens in schools all the time.

Can you imagine what kind of atmosphere that would create with people who had days off because of bereavement, mental health problem or chronic conditions? What on earth are we teaching our kids about value and worth? What are we teaching them about looking out for each other and looking after the sick or disabled in our community?"

Wright goes on: Most school-aged kids have very little control over whether they get to school.

Policies that reward kids for zero absences unfairly favor those of more privileged households.

After all, it's a heck of a lot easier to get to school amid rain and snow in Mommy's 4-wheel-drive SUV versus the public bus. And kids with health problems or chronic illnesses? They don't stand a chance.

"He had no control over his attendance," Wright wrote. I took him to school and it would have been my decision to keep him off. I should get the reward (or not) for his attendance."

The blog post has gone viral, with comments pouring in from parents around the world who share Wright's frustration for this arbitrary form of celebration.

"The worst time was in primary school when [my daughter] repeatedly 'lost' her class the class award, and was bullied because of it," wrote one mom.

"In a work place, this would never be acceptable, but we allow this to ... happen for our children," added another commenter.

While it's not a bad thing to celebrate kids for commitment and hard work at school, we ought to give some more thought to how we do it and whether we want our kids growing up believing that never taking a day off is something to aspire to.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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