Importance of parental involvement

While we have no say in who our parents are, we hope they become role models for us. In today’s society with broken and/or dysfunctional homes, we hope and pray that we get lucky enough to have parents/guardians who will provide us with a positive environment.

Some of today’s sports stars did make it to the top without the guidance of solid parenthood.

As I watched and listened to Robert Griffin III in his acceptance of the Heisman Trophy and his selection as the second pick in the NFL draft, the influence of his parents stood out.

You may also recall the Pro Football Hall of Fame speech by Shannon Sharpe who, without the guidance of parents, gave his brother, Sterling, credit for helping his (Shannon) success.

As an educator I am often asked how we can correct or improve today’s schools. Of course we need dedicated, committed teachers and better salaries along with consistent standards of behavior, but my No. 1 answer always has been parental involvement.

By that, I not only mean how ones’ children are doing in class, but an awareness of their daily lives and activities, including texting, Facebook and all elements of social media. This is not to suggest a parole-officer-type relationship, but a partnership. Trust is a vital factor.

Speaking to corporate groups about what I call “customer care,” I use the phrase “customers don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. This holds true in the development of children as well.

When did a child ever ask a parent what their SAT, GPA or IQ scores were?

What children want to know and feel is “Mom, Dad do you love me, do you care about me?” Of course parents do, but how they show it is what counts.

The role model is tag is not restricted to adults. Peer role models, as in the case of the Sharpe brothers, can and do carry much weight. Selecting a team captain should not be based solely on the superior athlete, but one who is an example of character with a willingness to do the right thing.

Will you follow the example that: “Excellence is good, exemplary is better”?

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