This morning I was listening to “Free Talk” a KJLH radio show with hosts Adai Lamar, and Roland Bynum. The topic was Parents getting more involved to help their children in school. The topic was so hot that I tried for more than ten minutes to get through the call in line without success. So I will give my input here. The topic was initiated by a letter sent in from an 8th grade teacher, who was very concerned about the behavior problems she had been having with some of her students. People were calling in giving their solutions to helping parents regain control of their children, and help support the school systems work of providing an adequate education for their children.
Although I was not able to get through the call in line, a friend of mine was. His name is Stephen Taylor, the author of “Voices To Our Children” a book of “old sayings and everyday affirmations” with wisdom and nuggets for today’s youth. Stephen told the listening audience that reading his book is one of the ways for parents to help their students do well in school and life. Others called in to complain about the sub-standard school system(s) that students are required to learn in. However there were a few callers who had some good stories to tell.
Whether your student(s) attend a traditional public school, a charter school, private school, or any other kind of school, it must be clear…….you the parent/guardian are the primary adult who is responsible for ensuring that your students behavior; which includes your student coming to school “ready to learn” is adequate. But let’s face it, students today live in a different world (culture) than some of us did 30-40 years ago. Society in general has changed the atmosphere that children operate in, to allow children to basically dis-respect peers and adults. So society as a whole is going to need to be part of the solution.
There are many things that could be done to address today’s problems with undesirable behavior from children. But one of the foremost of them all is effective communication. Children need to be communicated with as one caller to the radio station said “with respect and as someone who they will become” which reminds us all that children are little people growing into adults. That’s why I believe that weekly meetings should be a required activity for all parents of school aged children. If regular communication (meetings) are required for businesses, shouldn’t they be required for parents and students? Many problems that plaque our children (and families) today could be resolved with regular, effective communication between parents and students on a consistent basis. Parents find time to meet with your children.
The next thing that would help children improve their behavior, and effort in school is for parents to gain knowledge of the school system, through training. A parent who is knowledgeable , and knows how to navigate the school system, will have better results in supporting their students academic achievement. There are many professionals who have been trained to help families support their children’s education. However the current policies and practices utilized in the school system, do not lend themselves to effectively supporting family engagement.
And that’s why the next solution mentioned must be implemented immediately! And that is the laws that support parent training and support must be changed! Why is it that all persons who drive a motor vehicle must follow certain safety laws, but parents who have failing students are not required (or forced) to be actively involved in interventions for such students? Local school districts, state, and federal laws need to be implemented and enforced to provide real consequences, and support for families with failing students. Drastic problems, require drastic solutions! And it’s bigger than just giving families support, it’s about saving yours and mines next generation – literally!
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