One of the things many parents struggle with when their children enter school is how closely to be involved with their children’s academic lives. Obviously there are some extremes – parents who totally ignore their children’s classwork are probably doing a fair amount of damage, as are parents who are so involved with every aspect of their schoolwork that they end up doing it themselves. But what about the normal parent – how much is too much involvement and how much is too little? How can we step back enough to let them learn to accomplish on their own while still providing the support they need to flourish?
Research shows that, as in so many things, a happy medium is the best solution. Parental support with a child’s schoolwork is correlated closely with higher grades and greater overall achievement across the child’s lifespan – but overinvolvement, defined as lack of clear boundaries and “helicopter” parenting, can also lead to problems including anxiety and ill-preparedness for life’s bumps and bruises. Some writers even go so far as to say that it is creating “a nation of wimps,” to paraphrase the title of Hara Estroff Marano’s 2008 book on the topic.
Parents can’t do the work for their children – but what they can do is create a family environment conducive to learning and success. Some of the ways this can be accomplished include reading to children from a young age, valuing academic success on par with athletic success (or even higher!), setting aside time for studying and homework every day, and being available to help when children struggle. A tutor can be an integral part of this process – and that’s where Ascent Tutors comes in. Give us a call and we’ll figure out how to help you or your child succeed.