Thursday, September 20, 2007

Children Need Our Involvement

I'm always looking for ways to understand people better. Adults and children, to some extent, live in different worlds. That means parents and their children need to actively seek to be involved in each other's world. Children do this automatically. They play "house", ask questions, say things like, "will you play with me?"

Adults seem a bit less adept at this skill though. We get busy with work, paying bills, mowing the lawn, maintaining the house, and even shuttling children from one activity to another. Being active in our children's lives needs to be intentional if it's going to happen on a regular basis. And it needs to. Involvement by parents shapes the way a child sees the world.

Work habits, playfulness, self-esteem and a host of character issues in a child's life are highly influenced by the adults modeling proper behavior. Sometimes, it just takes an adult being actively interested in a child's life to make a major difference. Education is one of those areas.

Several studies demonstrate the importance of parents being actively involved in their child's education. I won't cite them all, but here are some of the things that have been demonstrated.

  • When parents involve themselves in the education process at home, the children do better in school.
  • High achievement in school is more dependent upon a culture of learning in the home than upon income level or educational level of the parents.
  • When parents talk to their children about school, it sends a message that school is important. Children respond to this and generally do better academically.

Here are a few ways to stay involved with your children

  • Read to your children
  • Take time each night to review your child's school work
  • Stay in contact with the teachers
  • Limit TV viewing -- Read a book instead
  • Ask your kids about their day
Children know when we are involved. They sense it -- they crave it. Most importantly, they respond positively to it. To quote an old ad slogan, "Just Do It!"

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