That education is important for every child cannot be overstated but what happens when a parent is not as involved in their child’s or children’s’ education? Or perhaps the better question for many parents is why get involved in their education? The answer is not too much of a surprise. Research shows that when parents are involved in their children’s education they get better grades, have better attendance, obtain higher graduation rates, and get this – they develop better self-esteem, use less drug and alcohol, and have less violent behaviors. Now while the benefits are many, being involved can prove a bit difficult for some parents, particularly parents who work. The matter is an important one, and it is especially important for education officials here in Orange Walk. According to Education Center Manager, Carla Alvarez, the lack of parent participation can prove a bit overbearing.

Screen_Shot_2014-11-25_at_8.03.04_PMCarla Alvarez – Education Center Manager

“As the child gets older we find out that we don’t see the parents as much and we have gotten to the point where there are some principals who have started to complain and starting to say that the parents are coming to us and say I can’t control my child, you discipline my child, in those communities what we are doing because we have certain communities that we have targeted, we have started what we call parenting sessions; right now we have started in Guinea Grass R.C school and we are working along with the Human Development Department and what we want to do is that we want to foster and we want to help the parent to work on their parenting skills because parental involvement is very important in a lot of communities the parent think that it is the teachers job to educate the child but it is everybody business.”

Studies also show that parents whose children do well in school support them by having a daily routine such as a time and place to study, household responsibilities, a specific bedtime, and even family dinners. Alvarez says one of the first steps, and one of the most important is establishing a relationship with the child’s teacher.

Carla Alvarez – Education Center Manager

“It is very important that you have a working relationship with your child’s teacher and by that I mean you go to the school often enough that you visit even but you don’t go to the school only when there is misbehavior on the part of the child but make it a practice at least once a week and find out how is my child doing, is he behaving and that kind of information.”

The matter can prove a bit overbearing for some parents but the simplest and most straightforward advice is that if parents want to see their children succeed a little extra effort after a long day’s work is worth it.

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