Parent Involvement: Finding Your Way in Middle School and High School
In elementary school it's pretty straightforward: bringing in cupcakes to help the room mother, reading a story to the class, or helping out at the science fair. Your child is happy - proud even-to have you be a part of his classroom activities. But then comes middle school. It's a new world.
"No, Mom! Please don't come! None of the other parents come, and I don't want you to be the only one!"
Sound familiar? Yes, parent involvement does change as our kids enter adolescence. So we need to change right along with them. Because NOT being involved is NOT the right answer.
Why is this so important? There are many reasons:
Involvement in your teen's school has a direct benefit to both of you. This has been demonstrated over and over again.
Your teen's response to your participation, however, deserves to be respected. If she doesn't want you to have direct involvement in her activities there, you can find other ways to be involved.
Here are some approaches you can consider:
At a minimum, go to all the school events that you can. Get your name on the mailing lists for all announcements. Be there; and be involved. You need to pick up the phone and make it happen. It's your job, and it matters to your teen's success.
Sue Blaney is the author of Please Stop the Rollercoaster! How Parents of Teenagers Can Smooth Out the Ride, and Practical Tips for Parents of Young Teens; What You Can Do to Enhance Your Child's Middle School Years. As a communications specialist and the parent of two teenagers, she speaks frequently to parents, educators, and other professionals about parenting issues, improving communication, increasing parent involvement, and creating parent discussion groups. Visit her website at http://www.PleaseStoptheRollercoaster.com
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