Parental involvement refers to the amount of support and encouragement a parent has towards their children.
Being involved in a child’s life, their academics, activities, and relationship is very important but keep in mind that the line between being a supportive parent and a controlling parent is very thin and can often get blurred.
Involvement from a parent can be shown in different ways, such as helping your child with homework, helping them train, coaching their sports team or getting to know about their favorite teacher and friends. The support of parents can make a very big difference in your child’s academic and personal life.
Did you know that there are actually 6 main types of parental involvement based on the work of Dr. Joyce Epstein? Having the knowledge on each of these types could surely help you to achieve better parenting.
Organizations, most commonly school, can both help families and caregivers understand the development and growth of their children.
Parents help by providing the school or any organization information about the backgrounds, goals, and culture of their young ones.
Communication between families and educators is important as it encourages families to provide their ideas, reactions, and preferences about the progress of their child.
Homework is essentially the responsibility of the child. However, parental involvement through homeschooling your young one could also improve their learning capacity.
Parental involvement through activities related to the school but not necessarily happening inside the class room, may also have a positive impact. It may enable families to share their talents and time to support their children as well as the educators.
In order to have a say in the overall direction of school programs etc., parents' voices should integrated in decision making processes. This could be realized through the participating in parent organizations like school councils, PTA/PTO, committees, and so on.
The environment or community surrounding children often has a significant impact on their education, well-being, and development. Communities may support and encourage the of cooperation between families, school, and community groups.
So yes, parental involvement is very important for children, but
parents still have to know when it is enough. Overprotecting parents
that micromanage everything about their child can be as detrimental
as parents who are absent altogether.
Keep in mind that parents should be a part of their child’s life as a mentor and a friend and not be too controlling as controlling parenting may have unfortunate consequences.
Maybe you think you are doing them a favor by making life easier for them, but bear it in mind that kids who are not making mistakes can never learn how to fix them.
According to Indiana University psychologist Chris Meno, when kids of controlling parents grow up, they risk having to face challenges adjusting to the 'real' world, which in unfortunate events, may lead to depression and/or anxiety.
Parents can easily cross the line between caring and controlling if they start invading their children's privacy, looking through their phone, laptops, browser history, pictures, etc., to see who are they hanging out with and what do they do when they are not around them.
It is a parental nature to be curious and wanting know what your child is doing but prying on their things is not a good tactic!
So being supportive, listening to what he or she has to say, letting your child know that you have the best interest at heart and that you are concerned for their well-being is once of the best ways of being present in your child's life.
You may help them with their homework, but only when they ask you to do. Give them some freedom, give them some space. This also helps your kids take responsibility.
This may not only strengthen the friendship between you and your child, but it may also make them more open towards you and want to confide in you - a scenario desirable for all parents.
Marina is a parenting blogger from Croatia.
Marina is the face behind the website Parental Journey, a simple mom blog that deals with all the ups and downs of parenthood.
Marina graduated with a degree in Journalism, but she decided to
start her own business. She is now a proud work-at-home mom.
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