By Siddharth Rajgarhia, Chief learner and Director DPS NSK|VNS| LAVA NGP
Student’s success largely depends on how families, especially parents, encourage learning at home and involve themselves in their education. When parents are actively and responsibly involved in their children’s school lives, students have the home support and knowledge they need to finish their assignments and develop a lifelong love of learning.
Research shows that parent involvement improves students’ behaviour and leads to improvement in their attendance and achievement. Successful parent involvement can means active, ongoing participation of a parent in the education of his or her child.
Parenting approaches can be classified into 4 main groups: Uninvolved, Permissive, Authoritarian, and Authoritative.
Uninvolved, Permissive and Authoritarian parental styles have not only been proven non-conducive to student learning but negatively impact academic progress.
Authoritative parents, on the other hand, are kind and firm. They respectfully communicate, are supportive and understanding to the needs of their children and also of the teachers. Such parents, in general, have high responsiveness to their children’s welfare. Teachers will find authoritative parents dependable as they encourage their children academically and socially.
Encouraging parent engagement is more than a common courtesy. It’s perhaps one of the best ways to create a positive learning environment for every student. A successful collaboration between the school staff and parent and efficient communication helps in creating a parent-teacher relationship that would, in turn, be beneficial for the student’s overall development and growth.
While teachers can advise parents on education and curriculum, parents also have essential information about their child that teachers might not know. As a result, both can bring their respective perspectives to the table to enrich a student’s learning experience.
Let’s take an example of a parent-teacher session regarding bullying. In the session, the counsellors and the staff shares information regarding how cyber-bullying is the same as on-campus bullying and how the issue can be handled. The session concludes with the school explaining new rules and protocols to be followed by every student to achieve the objective of combating cyberbullying and teaching appropriate online behaviour in and outside school and expects full parental support in this grave matter.
Let’s see how the parents of each of the groups would react to the situation.
Uninvolved or Neglectful Parent Approach: This parenting approach carries the most negative connotations. These parents attend to their child’s basic needs but offer little guidance, discipline, and nurturing. Whether the parent is uninvolved intentionally or unintentionally, they will in all probability not be aware of the session being conducted and thus will not be attended. Such parents will not be engaged in teaching appropriate behaviour to their child, having any expectations, or holding them accountable for their actions.
Permissive Parent Approach: The two themes that arise with this parenting approach are; nurturing and warm and being reluctant to impose limits (which is problematic). Permissive parenting is a powerful predictor of children’s deficits in self-regulation, control over impulses, staying focused, managing moods, and executing plans. It can often be seen that these parents may ignore their children’s bullying behaviour and also tend to ignore all the other problems.
Authoritarian Parental Approach: Cruelty and strictness are the two themes of this parenting approach. These characteristics are found to be unhelpful to the academic and social development of the child. Parents with this approach often tend to shun their children from approaching them with any issues related to their social and academic life. This child may be having a bullying issue that may interfere with his/her concentration and mental health if not solved in time. But given the unapproachable nature of the parents, this child may not approach the parent with the issue and seek help.
Authoritative Parent Approach: This parenting style aims to inspire cooperation by fostering positive feelings and teaching reasons. Parents with this kind of approach are warm, avoid punishments and less likely to shame or blame kids and withdraw love. When their children make mistakes or misbehave, they listen and consider their concerns and together figure out what went wrong and follow through on the natural consequences of good and bad behaviour.
They do not enforce compliance but seek to help kids develop self-discipline and respect for others. This kind of authoritative parental involvement is the kind of home-school connection that will set up children for success.
Teachers and educators, in general, should consider the various parenting styles and approaches and their effects on student’s academic performance. Parents are the most critical partner in a child’s education, and schools can reap significant dividends by capitalising on their support. To be sure, such relationships require a lot of work by both educators and parents. The school can conduct workshops to recognise the value of embracing the authoritative parenting style, increasing students’ academic performance, and improving their personality.
Teachers and counsellors should nurture their relationship with the students and the parents to decode misbehaviour in class or incompetencies due to inadequate parental involvement.