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Parenting and Academic Success

Updated on August 10, 2014

Learning begins at the moment of birth. This is the first experience that will literally shape how a child's brain grows and develops. The objective of most parents is to raise healthy, intelligent, and successful children. Day-to-day experiences play a major role in shaping a child's development.. The development of a child is influenced by the environment in which they live, and experiences they have. The very first years of a child's life set the foundation for intellectual growth into adolescence and adulthood. The role of the parent is critical during this time as a parent is the child's first teacher. A parent's overall outlook and attitude toward academics are detrimental to the child's own outlook and attitude. A child will only learn to focus and take education seriously if they are taught to do this during the first years.

A child becomes motivated by the encouragement and active participation of the parent. The parent's own interest and attitude will affect the attitude and involvement of the child. The more involved the parent is, the more self esteem the child will have. A structured and healthy environment are key elements in ensuring a child's academic success. For example, the more a parent reads to a child, the more a child will want to read. An article in the Saturday Evening Post emphasized "Parents are the most important single element in a child's education." (Donatelli 51). A parent is the first experience a child has in a teacher/student relationship. This initial experience will set the tone of future interactions not only with other teachers, but in the classroom as well. If a child feels safe, secure and confident; the less likely it becomes for that child to act out or misbehave.

The enthusiasm a parent shows about education is the main factor that contributes the child's academic success. A parent has enormous control over a child's success in school. By controlling the child's activities, absences, and the amount of reading in the home are three key factors that go into the success of a child. The majority of children who receive higher grades tend to have parents who are actively involved in their education. When a parent is there to help with homework and attend school functions, a child feels more comfortable and safe. Research shows "Motivation was positively correlated with academic achievement for middle school children." (Rivers 203). Many studies have found the motivation to be a prime factor in the academic result in students ranging from preschool and into college.

A stable home life, parent involvement, and family formation are what set the foundation and are the building blocks of educational outcome. During the first few years, children begin to form attitudes about learning that will stay with them throughout their lives.. Children who are encouraged and supported during these years have a better chance of becoming creative, adventurous learners, which will have a lasting benefit throughout their lives. Children who are not supported or encouraged are likely to develop different attitudes about learning later in life. Encouragement and motivation are critically important as they build confidence. The overall independence, happiness and success of a child depends largely on the parents ability to build healthy self-esteem. The more a parent engages, the more successful the child will be.

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