Parental Involvement

This asset speaks to children’s need for parents to be involved in their lives outside of the home. Being an involved parent takes time and dedication. For some parents that might mean coaching a little league team, or staying with your child during dance practice even if you 10 errands to run.

I think this topic is very timely especially since it is the beginning of a new school year. School age children spend a large amount of their time away from home and in a school setting. As parents we have to meet them where they are at-meaning be involved at some level in their interest areas.

This could be especially challenging with your teen, who perhaps one day woke up and decided you had some sort of disease so that they and their friends could not come within 500 yards of you. Try to work through the rejection and find some way to continue to be involved in your child’s life. If he is on the football team-be there at every game, even away games when possible. If she is on the debate team, listen to her speech repeatedly until she feels it is just right. Teens want freedom, but they also need to know that you are still very interested in their lives.

If you have an elementary age child, get involved with the PTO where you can gain a unique perspective about the entire school and not just your child’s classroom. Ask about your student’s homework and help when they need it. Ask teachers if they need any special supplies for the classroom. Collaborate with your child’s teacher to help your students succeed. Read every note that is sent home from the school and take action when necessary.

Toddlers and infants may need you to speak with their childcare provider on a daily basis. It is wise to get to know the people well who will be caring for your children. This can be a brief 2-minute conversation where you tell the childcare worker about any changes in how your infant is eating or sleeping during the night.

You know your child best, and your time limitations, so think creatively about how you can be involved.