A set time for homework and other tasks is essential to student success.

How Does Lack of Parenting at Home Affect Children's Grades in School?

by Sheryl Faber

A lack of parenting in the home is likely to have a detrimental effect on a child's academic progress. Tools learned in early childhood are essential for a student to be successful in school. Parents who fail to provide an environment that promotes education and encourages good grades will keep their child from working to his highest abilities.

1. Structure

Children need structure -- having routines and rituals at home such as prescribed bedtimes and mealtimes will assist them later in school in scheduling other important homework and assigned projects. Learning to schedule their studies will help them focus and complete schoolwork and projects in time. In a home where parents don't monitor their children's activities and allow them to make their own schedules, schoolwork is much less likely to be completed. Unless they are extremely self-motivated, students will not take on extra projects or go the extra mile in producing quality work. This will ultimately result in low test scores and grades. A 1996 study by Laurence Steinberg, author of "Beyond the Classroom; Why School Reform Has Failed and What Parents Need to Do," found "a strong correlation between permissive parenting and poor grades in families where parents are not involved in their children's education and do not initiate a give-and-take relationship with their children."

2. School Support

A lack of parenting at home will give a child little or no encouragement toward excelling at school or support when the child is having difficulties. Visiting the school, attending school functions, meeting with teachers all show a state of concern for a child's academic success. A parent who fails to do such tasks gives the child the message that school isn't important and grades and attendance don't matter. According to a Michigan Department of Education article titled, "What Research Says About Parent Involvement in Children's Education," the more parents get involved "in advocacy, decision-making and oversight roles, as fund- raisers and boosters, as volunteers and para-professionals, and as home teachers -- the better for student achievement."

3. Discipline

Parents who don't discipline their children when grades are unsatisfactory because of incomplete assignments, sloppy work or lack of attention to the subject matter are not teaching their offspring the importance of focus and persistence. According to Steinberg's book, such parents are no longer engaged in their children's lives and they believe that their learning and educational capacity is not up to them but up to the school system.

4. Encouragement

Preparing children for junior high, high school and beyond requires encouragement. Teaching them to use their failures as learning opportunities and encouraging them to try again will push them to stretch themselves scholastically. Parents who don't take the time to compliment and encourage their children to work to the best of their abilities will find themselves with offspring who are not motivated or inspired to excel and grow.

Resources

  • Beyond the Classroom: Why School Reform Has Failed and What Parents Need to Do; Laurence Steinberg

Photo Credits

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