How far is too far? Parenting involvement in school

So many studies have been done on the topic of how involved parents should be with their children’s schooling and what that involvement looks like. Often, these studies are contradictory. This study, aggregates other studies that investigate the strategies parents use in helping their children academically.  The intention of this is to allow the best and worst practices to percolate forth.

Although all age groups were looked at, I was particularly interested in the section of the study that looked at teens.

For high school students, the ways their parents could have the most positive impact on their child’s academics was:

  • having high attainment expectations
  • organizing academic based learning enrichment activities (science centre, watching a historical movie, reading relevant books)
  • establishing a level of trust with their teen that allowed honest dialogue around school and life issues

The ways that parents could have a negative impact on their child’s academics were mainly through the use of perceived controlling actions, such as:

  • checking of homework
  • homework control (threats or deals)
  • helping with homework
  • outright conflict around school

It would seem for high schoolers, the best formula is to create a safe place for them to discuss anything with you, providing experiences that springboard off of their interests and also keep the bar high. This link can help in that process. Taking a more curious role in your teen’s school life, rather than the drill sergeant approach seems to be most effective. Although,  it may seem that things are slipping out of control without your direct interference, according to the study, the opposite is occurring.

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