Positive parenting insights from motivational speaker Nikki Bush: Your children spend between five and seven hours a day in the classroom, depending on their age, plus time spent doing extra-mural activities. It’s a big chunk of their day and it is spent without us. According to recent research from the University of New Hampshire, their ability to perform and thrive has direct links to parental involvement in their school careers. While not in the classroom with our kids, our degree of interest and support of their endeavours and experiences; and creating a home environment that supports learning, the school and the curriculum, is a crucial factor.
This ‘parental effect’ is very hard, if not impossible, for schools to reproduce on their own, despite increased spending per child. What is interesting is that there is a trend for parents to reduce their supportive efforts as schools increase and improve their resources, which actually diminishes the effectiveness of such resources.
So, don’t cut back on the support of your child and school because it is very clear that there is a direct link to your child’s success. When I look back on my own school career, I can tell you that having my parents do a stint on the primary school PTA, helping with fund-raising, attending school meetings, being there to watch my school plays and sporting events and even having my mum work in the school tuckshop once a week, made all the difference to my commitment to my own education and development. And let me not forget the hours my dad spent trying to help me understand maths, which I found totally incomprehensible! They were there. There was a sense of presence. We were in it together.
Here are six good reasons, highlighted by the research, for continued parental involvement in your child’s education:
- Children do better at school
- Children go further in school and have higher grades, test results and graduation rates
- There is reduced absenteeism and improved behaviour, fewer instances of violence, decreased use of drugs and alcohol and lower rates of suspension from school
- There is increased motivation and better self-esteem in all aspects of a child’s life
- A home environment that supports learning is more important to student success than income, education level or cultural background (a very interesting fact, don’t you think?)
The sooner the parental involvement starts, the more powerful the effect. This is by no means a call to helicopter parenting, and micro-management of your child’s every move and, indeed, for many of us with our own very busy and demanding schedules, there is no way we can attend every single event in our children’s lives today – we pick and choose and do the best we can.
What it’s really about, though, is holding the ‘education and personal development space’ for your child both at home and at school. It’s about respecting their process and helping them to maximise the opportunities in the education system you have chosen for them.
Don’t wait until the last few years of school to take an interest. Think of your support in terms of compound interest on your financial investments. The longer you invest for, the greater the returns.
Nikki Bush is a guest speaker that specialises in positive parenting talks including the Future-proof Your Child talk as well as the Children Living in the Red Zone talk. She has also published a Future-proof Your Child book and a free Parenting Matters ebook. Invest in yourself and your children by attending a talk, purchasing a book or downloading the free ebook today.