How involved are you in your children's education? Do you ask your kids how they're doing in class or talk to them about their peers during dinner, or do you, like most parents, deposit them in school, leave them there to learn what they need to learn, and pick them up afterward?
Amanda Bengson, a laywer by profession, used to follow the latter, but since taking on a more active role in her kids' education, she has seen more than a few positive changes in the family's attitude and behavior. “I don’t think [the kids] consciously noticed the change, but they’ve become more confident. They’ve become more comfortable with us in the house. Simple decisions like where do we want to eat—now they give their suggestions,” she says.
And contrary to popular belief, being around the kids more often also helped them become more independent. The mom of four attributes this to being more supportive of her kids, not by watching over their every move as helicopter parents notoriously do, but by letting them explore on their own. “They’re not na as clingy. My children used to be so clingy. They’re more sure of themselves.”
Since trying her best to get to know how her kids behave in school (and consequently getting to know all the teachers as well), Amanda has also realized that they, as a family, now spend a lot more time conversing with each other. “You talk about [things] with the family. They have a say. Even the three-year old has a say,” she says.
Getting more involved in your kids' education, as it turns out, is rooted from a simple principle--that the school is merely an institution that helps guide the students, and that the real responsibility of raising them falls to the parents. “I think one important thing is for the parents to recognize that they are the parents who are raising the kid; the parents are raising the kids, not the school,” says Gina Garcia, a New Parents Education Program (NPEP) facilitator at Woodrose and a mother herself.
And by raising the kids, it means taking a keen interest in your children's school life, though the focus is not necessarily academics but their overall education. This level of involvement is admittedly still a relatively new concept here, especially since a lot of households consist of two working parents, but if there's anyone worthy of your time, don't you think it's your kids?
(Photo by Barbro Björnemalm via Flickr Creative Commons)
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