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This is a guest post.
If you’re a single parent, you know how hard it is to nurture your children while making money and maintaining your and each child’s basic needs. With so much going on, it’s easy to trust that your child gets the education and interactions they need at school. However, that’s not always the case.
The benefits of parent involvement in education are unparalleled. It’s essential to get and stay involved in your child’s education.
Four reasons to Be Involved In Child’s Education
While your child’s grades don’t reflect their worth, they reflect their ability to get into good higher education schools and well-paying workplaces.
By reviewing assignments and speaking to teachers, you can get a good idea of where their grades stand and what they need to work on to improve and maintain them.
Since the pandemic began, many schools have tracked their students’ progress via online databases. You can create a login to view their grades and any teacher notes.
If your child struggles with homework or studying, encourage them by talking about the fun things good grades lead to, like getting the job they want or earning an award. Don’t pressure kids to get straight A’s. Not every child will, and the pressure can damage their confidence. Ensure they are doing their best to reach their academic potential.
When they can improve their grades, kids feel a sense of accomplishment. This can improve their confidence and self-esteem. If you have concerns, consider meeting with your child and their teacher to discuss ways to help boost them.
When you stay involved with your child’s schooling, you’ll stay aware of the opportunities available to them through it.
If you’re lucky, the school has multiple extra-curricular activities to help your child explore their interests and make friends. With the stimulation school can bring, they might not realize the opportunities. That’s where you come in.
Ensure that you read the school’s emails and newsletters and check in with teachers and administrators about the opportunities they offer. Even if the school doesn’t offer what you’re looking for, they may have a community resource to give you.
This also applies to opportunities handed to your child. Throughout the school year, classes go on field trips which require parental permission and possibly funds. Kids are famous for forgetting to give parents informational flyers and permission slips. They can end up crumpled in backpacks, left on the car floor, or lost on the bus.
You can ensure they don’t miss out on an adventure by keeping current on the school calendar, asking your children to relay announcements, and checking in with their teacher. Kids can feel left out when they aren’t able to participate with the rest of the class.
Giving your kids opportunities isn’t just staying on top of school. Education comes in many forms. Answering questions about the world and your career choice can inspire them to work hard and follow their passions.
A child’s mind is like a sponge absorbing information around them. As a single parent, chances are you’ve overcome a lot. Your child can learn from your perseverance.
Better Social Relationships
You are a massive part of your child’s social development, which doesn’t stop when they enter school.
Other kids and teachers naturally expose them to new cultures, customs, and ideas in class. We live in a beautifully diverse world, but some new ideas might confuse or concern them. By having open conversations about the things they experience, you and your child can learn about other people, helping them navigate interactions with people who talk or act differently from them.
You can help your child learn to ask questions respectfully and positively interact with all their classmates.
Aside from navigating interactions with students, you also help them learn how to interact with administrators. While children need to speak about their concerns, you should teach them how to interact positively with their teachers, counselors, and principals.
You can teach your child how to stay calm during conversations and respect the adults in the school while remaining honest and pointing out if something is wrong.
A school is an excellent place for socialization, and you can help them navigate from afar. Your guidance improves their relationships, and your example also does. For example, if you expect your child to speak respectfully to their teachers, but you don’t, it sends mixed messages. The same goes if you engage in toxic conversations with your peers but expect them to take the high road with their classmates.
Research shows that children with involved parents have higher rates of positive behaviors than children without that attention.
When you’re with your child, you nurture their need for attention, lessening the chance they’ll seek attention from unsavory sources or unruly behaviors.
In a study of elementary students, researchers found that children with involved parents showed fewer “problem behaviors,” such as yelling, hitting, and name-calling. When they’re not given attention at home, kids might seek attention by mimicking destructive behaviors they learned from peers or television. They could interrupt their class or damage relationships with adults or other students.
As they grow, these attention-seeking behaviors can be more dangerous, with teenagers more likely to engage in unsafe sex, drug use, and underage drinking.
School is a large part of your child’s life, and by staying involved through conversations and supervision, you can help them know how much you care.
Staying Involved With Your Child’s Education
Single parents are their form of a superhero. Be proud of all you do for your family. Staying involved with your child’s education is essential for their academic and social development, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Asking family and friends to help you keep up with a schedule or remind you to check in on things can go a long way. Especially if they watch your children, incorporating educational involvement can come quickly. You might even make friends with other parents in your child’s class and begin to help each other keep up.
By nourishing your child’s education, you help set them up for success.
Beth is the content manager and Managing Editor at Body+Mind. She writes about parenting, fitness, mental health, and nutrition. You can find Beth on Twitter @bodymindmag.