The Power of Involvement: Why Parent Engagement Is Key to your Child’s Success

Many children naturally perform better when their parents are around. It should come as no surprise that this is true in their schooling, too. Research proves that parent engagement leads to positive results in academic performance. Discover the best strategies and tips to enhance academic parent engagement and boost your child’s success in and outside the classroom.

What is Parent Engagement?

Parent engagement in schools is defined as parents and school staff working together to support and improve the learning, development, and health of children and adolescents. 

Others say parent engagement responsibility also falls to community members and extended family to foster the best well-being for all children in their proximity. Regardless, parents engaged with their child’s education know their child’s coursework, school events, or teacher relationships (84 percent of educators prefer parental engagement over higher salaries). They are critical in all three, aiding the student’s success. 

Here are some examples of parent engagement you may already be doing:

  • Having discussions after school (“What did you learn today?” or “What’s something you heard today that you already knew?”)
  • Helping with homework assignments (“Your teacher told me this subject was coming up. Do you need help?”)
  • Engaging in extracurricular activities (don’t just drop them off at the game; stay, watch, and cheer them on)
  • Keeping abreast of academic progress (“Let’s review your report card together.”)
  • Imparting parental values
  • Participating in parent meetings (asking questions and following up with teachers)
  • Attending school activities
  • Volunteering in the classroom

What do the experts say?

Studies show more parental involvement leads to improved academic outcomes. Parents who provide a holistic approach to their child’s learning, meaning fostering learning environments at home or personal lives and incorporating them in what the child is doing at school, typically see better grades and behavior from their kids.

Not only does parental involvement lead to improved academic outcomes, but it also positively impacts students’ social and emotional skills and decreases instances of delinquency. We recently examined how social changes are part of your child’s development and that adolescent social development impacts your child’s behavior, relationships, and emotional well-being. Consistent parent engagement in school can limit risky and destructive behaviors (drug use, suicide ideation or low self-esteem).

Again, research shows kids often thrive when their parents pay attention and care about their education.​

How to become an engaged parent in your child’s school

Before you can engage, you must first be welcome to do so. Unfortunately, some schools view parent engagement as a nuisance rather than a benefit. And if parents don’t feel welcome to contribute to the school or their child’s learning, most won’t. 

It’s also worth mentioning one significant barrier to parent engagement: the need to control. Many experts shun parental actions like forcing homework help when your child hasn’t asked, forcing homework completion, or awarding children for good grades but punishing them for poor grades. Autonomous support parent involvement is more accepted and can include actions such as:

Check out this list from Parent and Teen for more concrete ways to get and stay involved in your child’s school: 

  • Encourage reading at home
  • Foster positive conversation and perspectives about education
  • Attend PTA meetings and other gatherings exclusively for parents
  • Tell your child’s school what resources or guidance you’d like them to offer parents.
  • Learn about your rights as a parent in your child’s school.

If your child is struggling in school, parent engagement may be their stepping stool to academic progress. Start today and get involved.

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Willaim Wright

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