Time is a valuable gift. Unfortunately, that precious gift often slips through your fingers like water as a parent. There can be a feeling of constant rushing, transitioning, and “doing.” Although it can feel frustrating at times, there are some valuable ways to spend your time as a parent. The importance of parental involvement can be a high standard in today’s society. Being involved in activities that will help, encourage, and teach your child are worthwhile ventures to pursue. Consider some of the following options as you decide how you would like to increase your parental involvement.
Organize a group activity
This can range from being the “class parent” in school one afternoon a week, throwing a BBQ for other families, or getting other parents with small children together for a play group. This will teach your child that you value the community around you and also give you the chance to interact with other parents.
Coach a team sport
This is a popular way to be involved as a parent once the “little league years” hit. Coaching is a learning experience for everyone involved, including the parent! Both parent and child have to learn patience, understand right from wrong, and demonstrate fairness. By coaching your child, you are showing them that you care about their growth as an overall person: physically, emotionally and socially.
Be part of the PTA
This is a crucial form of parental involvement. You don’t have to be the PTA president, but it’s important that you are aware of the issues, needs, and activities going on in your child’s school. Attending meetings is one way to support the PTA. This will help you stay up to date on the issues the schools or students are facing, while giving you a chance to participate. Fundraisers are another way that you can be involved with the PTA. The need for help during fundraisers are endless, and even with limited time, a little support will go a long way. No matter how small, your support of the PTA will be appreciated. In addition to helping to make your child’s school a better place, you will be teaching your child that you value their school while making them aware of the importance of parental involvement.
Communicate about their social life
As children get older, social issues often arise. Relationships have highs and lows and knowing that mom and dad are there to listen is invaluable. By having a glimpse into their social life, you may also encounter negative social issues such as bullying. Parental involvement with this is imperative: do not let things go. Putting a stop to the negative behavior early will save a lot of heartache and hurt feelings. Utilize the school as a mediator, but don’t back down until there is clear resolution and evidence of changed behavior. You will teach your child that you are willing to support them in the midst of a challenging situation.
Be an encourager, not a trouble maker
No matter what, we want the best for our kids! However, parents tend to become defensive when their child is involved in an extracurricular activity. If your child has to change positions in soccer, encourage them by helping them practice. If your child is moved to the back row of the dance routine, compliment them on the hard work they are putting into it. Avoid making a big deal out of it in front of them. If you feel strongly about how your child is being treated, speak with the person in charge privately. Keeping your child out of the issue will not only help them continue to enjoy the activity, but it will also keep them from potentially gaining a negative attitude within the activity. You will teach them to make the best out of any situation.
Parental involvement is an important part of being a parent. Whether you stay at home, work full time or part-time, making time to be involved in your kids lives is worth it. By taking part in activities and social gatherings, you not only spend time together, but you also teach them valuable lessons and show them you care through that precious gift: time. Bottom line: the importance of parental involvement is immeasurable to your child.