When parents are involved in education, teens are more likely to behave better, do well in school and develop better social skills. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s publication “Parent Engagement: Strategies for Involving Parents in School Health,” when parents are involved in a school’s adolescent education strategies, teens are less likely to be at risk for adverse educational and health outcomes, and they are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
As children grow older, some parents assume that they don’t need to intervene as much in a teen’s studies and education because the young person is more independent. According to the Minnesota Parent Center, parental involvement not only helps ensure the academic success of their teens, but kids with dialed in parents are more likely to stay away from drugs, alcohol and tobacco, abstain from violent behaviors and experience better mental health. Consequently, the reduction in risky behaviors translates into positive educational outcomes and increased intentions to pursue a college education after graduation from high school.
When a parent is involved in a teen’s education, she advocates for her child and the quality of education at the teen’s school. The CDC shares that parental involvement in educational strategies is a shared responsibility among the parents of students. Parental engagement helps reinforce the importance of learning across multiple settings in addition to the school, like at home, in extra-curricular programs and within the community. When a parent is involved in a teen’s education, the teen is more likely to form more ties to the community, have better social outcomes and is less likely to drop out of school. Furthermore, the overall health of a school increases when parents are involved because the parents and school staff can create a united front to send clear, consistent messages to teens about the value of education, preventive resources and support networks.
Types of Involvement
Parental involvement in a teen’s education begins at home by spending quality time with the young person, eating meals as a family and supporting a teen’s academic endeavors, according to the Council of Economic Advisers. A parent can become more involved in education strategies at a school by participating on advisory boards, attending school-sponsored workshops, volunteering at school activities and making connections with school staff members. In turn, schools can promote parental involvement by creating a welcoming atmosphere on campus, training staff to work with parents, offering volunteer opportunities to parents and offering informational materials. Parent resource centers at schools and public libraries can also help parents learn more ways to get involved in a teen’s education.
It can sometimes be difficult for a parent to be involved in a teen’s education when there are schedule conflicts due to work or other activities. The CDC reports that parents are also less likely to become involved in adolescent education strategies if there’s a lack of transportation to a school event, if parents feel uncomfortable because of personal negative experiences while in school or there’s a language barrier. A lack of staff training on working with parents or financial or administrative support may also pose a barrier to parental engagement in a student’s education.