Being an active and involved parent with your child can take a lot of time, effort, and energy. Statistics have proven that with the right parent involvement, students’ academic achievements have improved, self esteem increases, and motivation to do better becomes much more evident. Let’s take a closer look at how parent involvement affects children and what parents can do to be more involved with their children.
What does the research tell us?
There has been extensive research done on the effects of parent involvement and children. Most school aged children spend at least seventy percent of their time outside of school. Which means that they are doing something, but what exactly is it? Many children today have working parents who don’t get home until after 5pm. So what happens to them between the hours of 2:30 and 5:30pm? If they are lucky they have some sort of extra-curricular activity to keep them occupied, or a good friend to hang out with. But for most, these hours of the day are spent watching television, playing video games, or getting into trouble. With little to no parent supervision it becomes difficult for children to find constructive things to do with their time. The less time parents spend with their children the more likely their child will have low self esteem issues and less motivation to achieve success.
How does parent involvement affect children in schools?
The most consistent predictor of academic achievement among children is parent expectations of a child’s academic attainment with education at school. When parents play an active role in the education and studies of their child, children have been more successful and confident in their abilities to achieve and accomplish goals. There are many ways for parents to get involved with their child’s education and help them succeed. Here are a few suggestions:
•Volunteer in the classroom. Not only does volunteering in the classroom help the teacher, but it let’s your child know that you care about what they do during the day. Volunteering in the classroom also gives you an opportunity to see your child in action and quite possible at what they do best. Children naturally want to please their parents and this is a great place for them to “show off.”
•Help with extra-curricular activities. Most extra-curricular activities can only happen if parents get involved and help with classes and activities. If you have some extra time or get off of work early one day during the week then don’t be afraid to volunteer your time. This will also give you a chance to get your child involved in some extra-curricular activities.
•Get involved with the PTO or PTA. Education programs rely on some of the programs that the PTO or PTA parents do; fundraisers, book sales, etc. are just a couple of examples that help raise money for the school and get parents involved.
How does parent involvement affect children’s social life?
It should be no surprise that parent involvement can greatly affect a child’s social life, positively and negatively. If taken to extremes, a parent can actually hinder a child’s social life and make it extremely difficult for the child to find their own individuality. If, however, you find the right balance for parent involvement in a child’s social life, you can help the child foster healthy social habits and establish healthy relationships. It’s important to find that balance so that you give your child enough space to grow and learn, but not enough so that they find themselves in unwanted situations and trouble. As a parent of young children your involvement will be much greater than it will be as your children grow, and your role may become less direct; although still extremely important.
Parent involvement affects all aspects of a child’s life; emotional, physical, and educational. There isn’t much a child can do without the advice and help of a parent, but finding a good balance is the key to successful and healthy relationships.