Parents are the most important agents of socialization in our society. Unlike teachers, who are the second biggest influencers on children, the same parents are around their kids while their teachers change. It is only sensible to think that if we want to support kids’ health and wellbeing, we need to support the most important people in their life – their parents.
I came up with the idea of supporting kids by supporting their parents about 20 years ago when I had an early childhood center. I could increase my young kids’ success and confidence whenever I got to the parents and made the partners in the process of education. There was 100% correlation between the success of the child (1½ years old to 4 years old) and the level of their parents’ involvement. My young students could read, do math and solve 60-pieces puzzles. They had the fine and gross motor skills expected of kids 3 years older than they were. At first, their parents did not believe their own eyes, but I just sent all their games and work sheets home so they could see their kids were able to do everything I said they could.
After 25 years in education, I can dare to say that investing in the parents is the most effective investment in children. And as with any investment, the sooner you start, the greater the returns.
I believe that government organizations should be investing in parents, but until that time, I will use this blog to help parents help themselves.
Here are the next 5 tips to help parents stop the cycle of bullying, help themselves and help their children be confident and avoid being bullied, being a bully or being a silent bystander.