How to Engage with Parents for Child Growth and Development

How to Engage with Parents for Child Growth and Development?

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Want to know what is the one main indication of a successful school? Well, the answer although unpredictable is simple, a high rate of parent engagement. Parent involvement can be considered one of the major factors in the success and achievements of not only the students but also the school.

A large number of parents believe that they have a lot to offer when it comes to making a considerable difference in their child’s academic and learning progress. But the sad part is most of them think they do not get enough opportunities to support their kid’s education. 

So what do you do in such cases? What exactly needs to be done to increase the rate of parent engagement? Well, this is exactly what we are going to focus on in this article. We are going to focus on strategies that will help increase family or parent involvement at school.

What is Child Growth and Development?

Child growth and development is basically about all the amazing ways your child changes from a tiny baby into a full-grown person! It includes two main things:

  • Growing bigger and stronger: This is the physical stuff, like getting taller, heavier, and learning to use their muscles to crawl, walk, and run.
  • Learning and figuring things out: This is the mental and emotional side of things. It’s about how your child learns to think, solve problems, understand their feelings, and get along with others.
  • Imagine it like a seed turning into a flower. The seed grows (physical growth), but it also needs sunshine and water to blossom (development of skills and knowledge).  Every child grows and develops at their own pace, but there are some general milestones to look for as they get older.

How to Engage Parents in School?

Schools and families working together is a recipe for student success! But how do we get busy parents involved? Here are some tips:

  • Open Communication: Keep parents in the loop with regular updates, positive and not just for issues.
  • Welcome Participation: Offer volunteer opportunities that fit different schedules and interests.
  • Events for Families: Host fun events like “Family Science Night” to create a welcoming space.

Top 10 Activities to Engage Parents in School for Child Growth

Involving parents in school activities is crucial for a child’s growth and development. Here are the top 10 activities to engage parents in school:

  1. Parent-Teacher Meetings: Regular discussions between parents and teachers help track a child’s progress and address any concerns.
  2. Family Fun Nights: Organize events like game nights or movie screenings to foster bonding between families.
  3. Volunteer Opportunities: Invite parents to participate in school events, such as fundraisers or field trips.
  4. Parent Workshops: Offer workshops on topics like parenting strategies, child development, or academic support.
  5. Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA): Encourage parents to join the PTA to have a voice in school decision-making.
  6. Homework Help Sessions: Provide resources and guidance for parents to assist their children with homework and studying.
  7. Parent Education Programs: Offer classes on relevant subjects, such as internet safety or nutrition, to support parents in raising well-rounded children.
  8. Parent-Child Activities: Arrange activities where parents and children can learn together, like arts and crafts workshops or science experiments.
  9. Parent Communication Channels: Establish clear communication channels, such as newsletters or online portals, to keep parents informed about school activities and policies.
  10. Celebrate Achievements: Recognize and celebrate student accomplishments through ceremonies or awards ceremonies to involve parents in their child’s successes.

Importance of Parents’ Role in Child Development

Imagine a child is like a little seed. Parents are like the sunshine, water, and soil the seed needs to grow big and strong. They provide the things a child needs to thrive in all different ways.

  • Love and Nurturing: Just like a seed won’t sprout without water, a child needs love and care to feel safe and secure. This helps them build confidence to explore and learn.
  • Learning and Growth: Parents are a child’s first teachers. They help them learn by playing, talking, reading, and answering questions. This builds a foundation for future learning in school and life.
  • Healthy Habits: Parents help their children develop good habits for eating, sleeping, and exercising. These habits lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle.
  • Right from Wrong: Parents guide their children about what’s okay and what’s not. This helps them understand what’s expected of them and how to behave in the world.
  • Building Confidence: With a parent’s encouragement and support, a child feels like they can try new things. This helps them build a sense of self-worth and resilience.

Overall, parents are like gardeners who help their children blossom into a happy, healthy, and capable person.

Strategies For Improving Communications Between School and Home

Most schools have made significant improvements in increasing the communication frequency with parents. With the help of digital tools, it has become easier to keep parents updated on a day-to-day basis on their child’s activities and improvements.

However, these tools can turn out to be overwhelming to parents as they don’t always understand the information clearly.

Below are mentioned some challenges that parents tend to face commonly

  • A lot of times, school communications are only available via computer and not on mobile devices. This makes it easy for busy working parents to end up overlooking it.
  • Parents aren’t aware of all the buzzwords going on in the education industry. So, while communicating, it is normal to miss out on understanding the actual meaning of all the educational jargon.
  • Students tend to have more than one teacher teaching them in school. Now each of these teachers might use a different tool to communicate with the parents. For busy or not-so-tech-savvy parents keeping updated on all these tools might seem confusing and overwhelming.
  • Sometimes parents find it difficult to process all the information they are getting from the teachers. Because let’s face it one child can have up to eight teachers and all this information pouring in can make it difficult to prioritize and sort.

Often all the communication and information happen in only one language preferably English or Hindi. A lot of parents might not feel comfortable in any of these two and might end up feeling left out or side-lined.

Helpful strategies to establish productive and positive communication between the school and parents:

1. Frequent and Short Communications

Starting the year with a long communication and then ending the term with a long recap of the year will lead to parents getting bombarded with too much information.

This will only lead to confusion and misunderstandings. To solve this problem school communications and assessments need to be more frequent and concise to ensure parents are always in the loop.

2. Decide On One Communication Tool

Principals need to conduct a communication audit to ensure smooth communication with the parents. Clear instructions need to be provided on the usage of one particular tool to make it easier for the parents. Deciding on one platform allows educators, faculty, and staff members to increase success rates when it comes to engaging parents more often.

3. Build Strong Relationships

Teachers need to build healthy and strong relationships with parents to foster trust and keep building the relationship throughout the term year.

Schools need to make sure that parents get ample opportunities to build a bond with their kid’s support network, which often includes teachers, learning specialists, and other staff members.

4. Invite Parents to the School

Educators need to have a proper understanding of the parent body of the school. It is important to learn about them. This is why inviting the parents over to school is a great idea.

This way parents can share information about the child’s weaknesses and strengths, their support system, and behaviours at home. This will allow teachers to be fully equipped when it comes to handling student needs.

Also Read: 5 reasons why a physical learning environment is the best for students in the long run

5. Provide Positive and Actionable Information

Providing the necessary information to parents to keep them updated is important. But schools need to make sure that the information they are sharing is focused on upcoming events, homework, and assignments.

This will allow parents to take the necessary actions to prepare the kids. A lot of parents tend to be scared of phone calls from school. So, it’s necessary to find opportunities to convey good news too.

Conclusion

Parents getting involved is very important in students’ development, learning, and overall success in life and career. And the key to productive and positive parent engagement is efficient and effective communication. A good school communication plan revolves around faculty members and teachers conveying all the necessary information in an easily accessible way. This ensures that parents have access to and understand all the opportunities that the school is providing. This ultimately helps transform school communications and experience an improved level of parent involvement.

FAQs

1. How can parents be involved in their child’s development?

Being a great parent is like being a superhero for your child’s growth! Read together, play games that make them think, and chat about their school day. Show up for school events and be their cheerleader. This helps them learn, grow strong, and feel loved!

2. What is the role of parents in child growth and development?

Parents are like a child’s first teachers and best cheerleaders. They provide love, support, and guidance to help their child grow strong, smart, and kind. From building self-esteem to learning right from wrong, parents play a huge role in shaping who their child becomes.

3. What are the six types of parent involvement?

  • Parenting: Create a supportive home environment for learning.
  • Communicating: Talk with teachers about school programs and your child’s progress.
  • Volunteering: Help out at school events or in classrooms.
  • Learning at Home: Support your child’s homework and learning activities.
  • Decision-Making: Be involved in school decisions through committees or councils.
  • Community Collaboration: Connect schools with community resources to benefit students.

4. What are the benefits of parental engagement?

When parents are involved, kids feel more supported and do better in school! They miss less school, learn more, and feel braver to try new things. It’s a win-win for everyone!

5. How to improve parental engagement?

Building strong relationships with parents is key! Talk openly, offer help at home, and find ways for them to be involved at school, even if it’s online.  This keeps everyone on the same team!

6. What is the concept of parent engagement?

Parent engagement is about parents and teachers working together as a team. It’s not just about helping out in school, but also about being involved in your child’s learning at home and talking to teachers regularly. By working together, everyone can help your child succeed! 

Read More: How to Engage Parents in Behavior Management Strategies?

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