It can seem like school involvement is the realm of the mom, which probably springs from the days when it was almost invariably the mom who was home during the day. Things are different now, though, and many moms work. Even moms who don’t work outside the home might like to see their kids’ dad get involved in the kids’ school.
Benefits to Paternal Involvement
Regardless of where Mom and Dad are during the day, and whether or not Mom and Dad are divorced, there are distinct benefits to paternal involvement in kids’ education. Here are some of them.
* Better academic performance – Did you know that educators have found a positive academic trend among students whose dads are involved in their education? Kids with involved dads do better academically.
* Extracurricular activities – Research shows that kids with involved dads participate more in extracurricular activities.
* Better behavior and emotional health – Kids whose dads are involved in school tend to be emotionally healthier, have fewer problems with behavior, and enjoy school more.
How Dads Can Get Involved
You may be wondering how dads can get involved in school. Here are some tips.
* The child’s mom – Regardless of your relationship with your child’s mom, keeping it civil with her is just one less stress for your child to have to deal with. Your child might feel awkward, embarrassed, stressed, anxious, and a host of other negative emotions when you and your ex have a bad relationship. This is not conducive to your child’s academic success. Try to get along with your child’s mom and agree to attend school events, even if you both have to attend at the same time.
* Attend meetings and events – When there are parent-teacher conferences, go. The same is true for any meetings and conferences that are held at your child’s school, whether it’s about special education or the upcoming school year. Make your presence known, and your name and face will be associated with your child.
Events vary throughout the year, from school plays to after-school activities on the school’s campus. Try to attend as many as you can, and maybe suggest some of your own (like Lunch with Dad Day or some such).
* Meet the teacher – Get to know your child’s teacher and show him/her that you are involved and want to stay engaged. The teacher will then be more likely to give you information and contact you about relevant school matters.
* Be aware – As you get more involved and plan more involvement in your child’s school, remember that other kids may not be so lucky. Be careful that you don’t leave any kids out as you plan for dad-child events, and be ready to “fill in” for kids who need an adult male to support them.