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Parental Involvement: Impact on a Child’s Education

Providing for a family is a challenging task in today’s world. Parents work long hours to pay bills and ensure that their children live a comfortable life. As a result, most parents return home tired and with little energy or time to follow up on their children’s educational progress. Some parents delegate all educational responsibilities to teachers. However, a child whose parents are supportive and involved in his or her education has a better chance of succeeding in school.

Firstly, children whose parents play a critical role in their education score higher grades than those whose parents play a passive role or are absent altogether. This is because active parents encourage their children to succeed in school. They aid their children to do their homework and help teachers to identify and solve difficulties encountered in their children’s education. They also help their children choose subjects and courses they can pursue with passion and excellence. The involvement of parents in the education of their child also influences teachers (Jeynes, 2011). Since instructors play a significant role in rating and grading a child, “a high degree of parental involvement likely influences how the teacher perceives and even grades the child” (Jeynes, 2011, p. 55). According to Chance (1997), providing teachers with feedback about a child’s attitude and well being can help the child achieve higher scores in IQ tests and vocabulary competence.

Secondly, children with supportive parents are more disciplined than those with unsupported parents.  It is easy for parents who follow up on their children’s school activities to identify weaknesses that may lead to indiscipline. They can then discuss such weaknesses with teachers and develop strategies and mechanisms to rectify the weaknesses. As a result, children with such parents are less likely to develop disorderly behaviors. Children with supportive parents are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol or to be suspended from school (Feuerstein, 2000). A study by Sui-Chu and Willms (1996) concluded that eighth graders whose parents were keen on their child’s schoolwork had reduced absenteeism and were less likely to drop out of school. Schools with many activities that require parental involvement report fewer incidences of violent or antisocial behavior (Connor, 2012).

Thirdly, the involvement of a parent in a child’s education increases the child’s self-esteem. A high self-esteem, in turn, improves the child’s general well being and their success in education (Feuerstein, 2000). Amsel (2013), who holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in sociology, wrote that limited parental involvement makes children feel unappreciated because there is no one to remind them that they are admirable, valuable and exciting. Children who feel unappreciated have negative thoughts and feelings about themselves (Amsel, 2013). This hampers the development of the children’s self-confidence and compromises their self-esteem (Amsel, 2013). Parents who want to improve their child’s esteem should not restrict their involvement to activities at school. Rather, “parental involvement in the education of children encompasses education-related activities both at home and school” (Onwughalu, 2011, p. 5). However, Amsel (2013) also warned parents that overindulgence in their child’s life may give the child little room to self-reflect and develop self-esteem.

In conclusion, involvement of parents in their children’s education improves the children’s chances of succeeding in school. Children with caring and involved parents score higher grades in school. This is evident from various studies that show students with supportive parents scoring high marks in tests. Such children have an elevated level of discipline and are less likely to engage in antisocial activities. Finally, the esteem of a child is dependent on his or her parent’s involvement in his or her life and education. This, in turn, affects the child’s performance in school. Thus, parents should strive to find time to follow up on their children’s education and collaborate with teachers to support and encourage their children.