Whether the school experience will begin for your child in the not too distant future or whether your child is already enrolled in school, parents need to use strategies that will result in a very positive learning experience for their children.
Guidance in this area is available for parents.
The strategies shown in the Engagement Alphabet that follows will build effective levels of family and educator engagement at home as well as at school and will enable your child experience the highest levels of school success possible.
The Engagement Alphabet
Avoid being obsessed with the latest fashion trends and fads for children and youth. Instead, invest your energy into helping your child become a continuous learner by establishing priorities that will contribute to his or her educational and future success.
Be selective of the people you invite into your life. Be aware that some individuals may create harmful interactions that will result in serious problems for your child including compromising their safety. Such adverse interactions will prevent your child from developing the healthy relationships with teachers and peers that are required at school.
Control the urge to make excuses for your child’s social and behavioral deficits. Accept their shortcomings head on and be determined to work with school officials to help them develop more appropriately.
Discipline your child with love instead of letting your anger that may consume you in the heat of the moment control your ability to teach him or her to make better choices. Above all, discipline your child so that they understand that behavioral boundaries exist.
Expose your child to opportunities for learning each day.
Foster good and consistent sleep habits. Child cannot experience overall school success without adequate rest.
Give your child every chance to perform well academically, behaviorally, and socially by using the unique services and supports rendered by volunteers, mentors, members of the faith-based community, and behavior, mental, and physical health providers. Do not avoid denying your child help if they need it. If you ignore their need for help, you will ultimately pay a regret filled price in the future.
Hold your child accountable for their actions without making excuses or ignoring their unacceptable, unsafe, and disgusting behaviors, or allowing them to disregard boundaries. A child who is argumentative or misbehaves is not funny or cute. Such behaviors will destroy a classroom or school environment if you do not correct them.
Identify your child’s strengths and take the lead in nurturing them. Do not expect teachers or your child’s school to assume the exclusive responsibility for doing so. Be sure to take your place as a member of your child’s team at school and in their life. Never place your child’s destiny in the exclusive hands of others.
Joyfully work with others in the community who will link arms with you to help you grow to become the best parent you can be.
Know the people that your child spends time with and keep them safe from all harm. This will establish a strong sense of confidence and security in your child as he or she knows that you are their protector.
Lead all of the efforts to love learning within your family.
Model respect and the total acceptance of others. Be the example for your child to emulate.
Never deliberately expose your child to derogatory images, language, or violent content because children live and act out what they see, hear, and learn. Such learned behaviors will manifest within the classroom. This will prevent teachers from teaching and other children from learning. Your children will also embrace the negative things that they are exposed to as normal if you fail to intervene.
Open your mind to the varied possibilities that are available for your child. Embrace your child’s potential and believe in their talents and special gifts. Maintain an unwavering belief that good things are in store for them. While you may need to make many sacrifices, consistently work together as a team with your child and others who are dedicated and capable help him or her achieve greatness.
Praise your child more often that you punish or reprimand them. Also, e sure to pray often.
Quit expecting others to parent your child and meet all of their unique needs. Become resourceful if you experience financial limitations and time restrictions.
Read to your child and create time for your child to read to you. Immeasurable benefits will result.
Spend quality time with your child. Put the mobile devices away and turn off the television when you are with your child. The lack of structured supervision is harmful to your child because of the bad habits they develop when they remain unsupervised. Additionally, he or she will grow to feel insignificant and they will believe that you just do not care about them.
Teach your child to respect authority figures and elders in their lives and to hold them in high esteem. This especially includes teachers and other school personnel.
Understand your role in your child’s overall educational experience and that you have the biggest part to play in your child’s education. Most importantly, you have a voice in all processes pertaining to the direction of their education.
Vary the learning experiences that you expose your child to. When they are young, give them a chance to play with other children to increase the benefits of the development of critical social skills like cooperation, respect, and sharing.
Wish for the absolute best for your child and work hard to make their hopes and dreams come true. Do your best to help their short and long term aspirations become attainable.
X-ray vision is required to take a glimpse into your child’s destiny so that unique goals are established for them.
You must be willing to make personal sacrifices to benefit your child’s overall development and well-being. In other words, you may need to postpone the things that you love, make you feel good, and make you happy if doing so will positively benefit your child.
Zestfully encourage and manage the development of your child’s work ethic. Celebrate the completion of tasks regardless of the outcome of their work. Motivate them to perform at the highest level according to their individualized capacity. Promote dedication and perseverance in all that they do.
You make the difference in your child’s life. Remain engaged in your child’s life and remain engaged with their educational providers.
What segment of the Engagement Alphabet would you like to change or elaborate on? I invite and encourage you to add your responses.
Here’s my golden ticket that helps me accomplish my mission.
Dr. Deborah M. Vereen is a retired Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, Principal, Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Assistant to the Superintendent for Family and Community Engagement, and Professor of Multicultural Education. Her e-learning course and social media platforms can be accessed on her website at www.Drdeborahmvereen.com and she is dedicating the rest of her life to serving as a Global Family Engagement Influencer.