An article by Tamara Henry in an issue of USA Today is exciting and very revealing. She reported on a study by the Education Department which reveals that children are more likely to get A's and less likely to repeat a grade or be expelled if their father is highly involved in their school. This is true whether the father lives with their children or whether the mother is also active. Incidentally, involvement is defined as participation in school meetings, teacher conferences, a class meeting or volunteering.
I suspect that a major reason for the child's higher academic standing is the father is communicating to the child, "You're important to me, so your education is important." Research also shows that when the teachers see that the father is involved and genuinely concerned about his child's education, they do a better job with the student.
This study was based on interviews with parents and guardians of nearly 17,000 students. Not surprisingly, in two-parent households where both parents were highly involved, 51 percent of the children got mostly A's; however, 48 percent did so when only the father was highly involved. Forty-four percent did when just the mother was highly involved. Only 27 percent got mostly A's if neither of their parents were very involved. On this particular study, the margin of error is less than 1 percent.
The study also revealed that if involvement by both parents is low, a child's chance of success is dramatically reduced.
The message is clear: Parental involvement from both mother and father produces the best results. Heavy involvement from one parent produces excellent results, and little involvement by either parent produces most unfortunate results. When our kids see that we really care, they learn to care as well, and they get that education which is increasingly important. So, parents, get involved, and I'll see you ... and the kids ... at the top!
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