Parents are their children’s most important teachers, guides, and advocates. Parents’ opinions and actions play an important role in shaping their child’s development. Being an involved parent means guiding and connecting with our children. Effective parents try to be involved in both their child’s formal and informal education.
The earlier parents get involved in their children’s lives, the better chances kids have of growing up with confidence and a solid foundation of values.
Parental involvement can take many forms, including helping with homework, coaching youth sports, leading scout troops, getting to know a child’s teachers and friends, and much more. Parent participation is the ingredient that makes the difference. Parents’ active involvement with their child’s education at home and in school brings great rewards and can have a significant impact on their children’s lives.
According to research, consistently shows that children with involved parents tend to do better in school, have fewer discipline problems, are absent less frequently, chose better friends, behave better, do better academically from pre-school through high school, go farther in school and go to better schools. They are more successful in life. Research also shows that a home environment that encourages learning is even more important than parents’ income, education level, or cultural background.
By actively participating in their child’s education at home and in school, parents send some critical messages to their child; they’re demonstrating their interest in his/her activities and reinforcing the idea that school is important.
Involvement in School
Involve yourself in your child’s education by helping her to prepare for school and get extra academic assistance as needed. Students with learning disabilities, whether profound or mild, often need parents to speak up and advocate for services or accommodations in the classroom. Children of involved parents consistently have higher test scores, better attendance and higher self-esteem.
Awareness of Problems
By getting involved in your children’s lives, you can spot trouble sooner and help your kids faster. The early signs of anxiety, depression, eating disorders and other mental disorders are sometimes subtle, such as a comment made in passing, a change of eating and sleeping patterns, dropping old friends and spending more time alone or with different people, and poor school work. Staying vigilant and watching for key signals can help save your child’s life.
Involvement in your child’s school and social life may help you to become more responsive to your child’s needs in all areas–emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual, etc.–according to the website Education.com. Involved parents report greater confidence in their own parenting and decision-making skills. Involvement also improves a parent’s attitude toward a child’s school and toward education in general.
Parent involvement signals to your child that his activities are important. When you involve yourself in what he’s doing, your child feels that you respect and value him, his choices and priorities. Involvement also reinforces the idea that a parent isn’t just someone who works and takes care of the home, but rather is a multidimensional person who can offer a variety of skills, talents and experiences to an activity. Finally, your involvement in activities outside the home reinforces the vital understanding that you are there for your children, no matter what the setting.
You want to teach important lessons that will help your children later in life. By getting involved early and often, you can help pass along countless lessons. You can establish the importance of reading by taking your kids to the library and helping them pick out books. You can teach the value of physical activity by playing tennis or other sports with your children. And you can demonstrate that involvement is a key part of parenting, so when your children become parents, they will have that experience to draw upon and carry forward.
Parental involvement pays off in other significant ways. Numerous studies have shown that parents’ involvement is a protective factor against adolescent tobacco use, depression, eating disorders, academic struggles, and other problems. By staying involved with their child and/or teenager, parents can be a source of support, create a climate for discussing tough issues and serve as role models for responsible and empathic behavior.