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The Benefits of Parental Involvement in a Child's Development

by Sara Ipatenco

You must be involved in your child's life to a certain extent because he relies on you to feed and clothe him, as well as to provide shelter. Of course, almost all parents want to spend quality time with their child, as well. Beyond being enjoyable for both of you, parental involvement is crucial to your child's development. Parental involvement has certain benefits while your child is young, but it will benefit him as he grows up and makes a life of his own, too.

Educational Benefits

Becoming involved in your child's school life is a powerful way to encourage educational success. When parents are involved in their child's school life, the children have higher attendance rates, better grades, higher standardized test scores and fewer behavior problems at school, according to the Michigan Department of Education. Further, more parental involvement leads to higher high school graduation rates, as well as a better chance that children will enroll in college, the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory reports.

Social Benefits

When your child watches you engage with other people in his life, such as teachers and coaches, he learns how to behave in social situations. With proper social behavior, your child will become more well-adjusted and will be able to make and keep friends more easily. A 2010 article published in "Child Development" reports that children with involved parents are more likely to display age-appropriate social behavior with their peers, as well as with adults in a position of authority, such as teachers and parents.

Mental and Emotional Benefits

When you take time to become actively involved in all aspects of your child's life, it sends the message that he's important and that you genuinely care about his interests and activities. If your child feels like you really want to spend time with him, including watching his extra curricular activities, he'll have a higher self-esteem. A high self-esteem and a feeling of self-worth can reduce the risk of your child becoming depressed and improve his mental health, too. In fact, children that have involved parents report more positive attitudes and behaviors in all areas of their lives, according to the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.

Tips

Find ways to become more involved in your child's life to reap these developmental benefits. Volunteer in your child's classroom once or twice a month. You might read to or with students or prepare a lesson based on your own career experience or educational expertise. Be a chaperone on school field trips or volunteer to organize a class holiday party. Attend your child's parent teacher conferences and sit down and help you child with his homework, too. Set aside time to take your child to a museum or the library or a regular basis. Make time to attend his sporting events and other extracurricular activities, as well. When your child sees you in attendance at the events that are important to him, it goes a long way to toward boosting his overall happiness and well-being.

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.

Photo Credits

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