How Do Parents Influence Their Child's Outlook on Education

      Today, now more than ever, parents are influencing their child’s outlook on education. Everything from checking their child’s homework to just giving them a pep talk, everything a parent does affects their child. However, according to a New York Times article,

  There’s no question that a great teacher can make a huge difference in a student’s achievement…...But here’s what some new studies are also showing: We need better parents.     Parents more focused on their children’s education can also make a huge difference in a student’s achievement.

As stated above, teacher play a huge role in students education, but parents have an important part to play too. Parents influence their children in a big way, but many of them don’t even realize this. This leads me to my topic: How do parents influence their children’s outlook on education?

        This topic hits very close to home. Both of my parents never received a college education. Because of this, they could not receive well paying jobs. Even though they are able to get by steadily, they remind me everyday how much education is important in order for me to have a good future. I have met and still know many kids who have the same situation as me, but their parents don’t motivate them. Because of this, I see these kids, who have the potential to be great, set education as a non-factor. Not only is this sad to see, but it gets me, and probably other people, infuriated because their parents don’t step in. According to TIME magazine,                      

 What they need to do with their children is much simpler:   talk. But not just any talk. Although well-known research by psychologists Betty Hart and Todd Risley has shown that professional parents talk more to their children than less-affluent parents — a lot more, resulting in a 30 million “word gap” by the time children reach age three — more recent research is refining our sense of exactly what kinds of talk at home foster children’s success at school.

This quote shows that parents, even in the littlest ways, affect their kids. By just talking, some parents give their kids 30 million more words than parents who don’t talk to their kids. I know that every parent wants the best for their child. However, if they don’t take the time to support them or even just talk to them, they won’t see how great their child can become.

                                                     Without parents taking the time to notice their children, they may not see the true scholar within them.

     Another reason why this topic is so important to me is because of the fact that I have friends who I know can be great, but they don’t have any motivation. For example, I have a friend named Trapetas. She is one of the smartest people I know,however, her family doesn’t support or motivate  her in any way.  But even with no support, Trapetas still focuses on school and always gives 110% in everything she does. After noticing this, I knew that parents do not always have to influence their children. Trapetas could have been just like my many other friends who basically gave up on education. She went against what was expected to be her outcome and she inspired me to help people like her. What I mean is that if kids don’t have parents/elders to motivate them, could I give them support? Could I be their “parent” to advise and help them? Questions like these led me to choose this topic.

   In an article by the Washington Post, It states,

               Let’s begin by noticing that the whole question is framed by the extent to which educators think parents ought to be involved.  The parent’s point of view is typically absent from such discussions.  And, of course, no thought is given to the student’s perspective — what role kids might want their parents to play (or to avoid playing).  But then that’s true of so many conversations about education that we scarcely notice its absence.

Essentially, the author is trying to make the point that parent involvement is not really provided because student’s inputs are not looked at. When people think of parent involvement, it’s either two things: parents don’t do enough or they do too much. However, if students were able to make comments on how their parents should be involved, parents would be  to meet their child’s specific needs. But what if kids don’t have parents that are willing to listen? That’s where I step in. As I start to access the needs of students, it becomes clear that I can help them, if only I listen. Many people would look at kids in Philadelphia as kids who are not going to do anything with their lives. Those assumptions will not help them. The first step is must to listen and for these kids I believe in, I will be all ears.

      This topic has been on my mind for a while and now because of this project, I will be able to finally do something about it. I believe that you give everybody the benefit of the doubt until they prove you wrong. You give them a chance and that’s what I am going to do with these students. If everybody else has given up on them, I will be their support. Every child has something great to offer to the world, but they need help to see that and I am prepared to give them that help.

       As this project goes along, not only will I be able to figure out the problems kids face with education, but I will be able to build a support systems with these kids. Even if their parents don’t support them, I will show them that they still have people that care and will work hard to see them succeed. Like I said before, I believe that every child has something to offer to the world, but they need people to just push them to their own greatness.

        Thanks for reading my blog and watch out for follow- up blogs 2 and 3!

You can look at my annotated bibliography here.

Comments (3)

Alexa Dunn (Teacher)
Alexa Dunn

Siawale, this is a well informed, passionate post. I like how you made it personal to you as well. Also, your research seems sound. For the article from TIME magazine, just fix the typo on the hyperlink (take out the "s"). Your energy in this blog is something that makes me want to keep following your work!