How ‘super’ parents can keep their kids safe and happy at school
Parents should focus on the big picture, not just the short-term, says a new study from The Conversation.
The study, based on a survey of parents and schools across Australia, found that parents who focus on family life can help their children get through school more smoothly and confidently.
“Parents are more likely to be involved in the daily routines of their kids than they were in years past, and this can make a big difference to their children’s overall wellbeing,” says the study’s author, Kate Maclean.
“In particular, families who take more responsibility for their kids’ school life can do more to ensure they are safe and successful.”
It’s been said parents should spend more time together, and more time watching TV, but the research found that the time spent with their kids is a big driver of a child’s wellbeing.
“The time spent together with their child has a big impact on how well they feel in school and their overall mental health,” Maclean said.
“That’s why it’s so important that parents spend more of their time together in their childrens school time.”
The research was commissioned by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) and the Australian Centre for Child and Family Studies to help parents better understand what the research revealed about the effects of parental involvement.
The research, published in the Australian Journal of Psychology, looked at more than 100,000 school children across the nation, with some parents from as far away as South Africa.
“We found that families that had more time to spend with their children were happier, more engaged in school activities, had more positive emotions and higher overall happiness levels,” MacLean said.
Here are the top 10 reasons why parents should give their children the most time together: 1.
More time for homework.
When it comes to homework, it’s a big deal.
Studies have shown that parents give up 15 per cent of their days to their kids and that they spend a whopping 30 per cent more time on homework.
Research from the University of Queensland has also found that kids who spend more than 50 per cent or more of the day with their parents spend less time at school, and have lower academic performance.
More money in their pocket.
“A big thing that we see in our research is that parents are spending more on things like school lunches and school uniforms,” Macleans said.
“[Parents] are spending $10, $20, $40 per day on school stuff and school supplies.”
More family time.
According to the research, more time with their family is linked to better mental health, emotional wellbeing and physical wellbeing.
The more time parents spend with the kids, the more likely they are to feel secure and confident in their relationships, Maclean explained.
“There are many positive health outcomes from time with your family, whether that’s with your kids or in general.”
More social interaction.
“People who spend time with the children are more involved in school because they feel like they’re part of a family,” Macles said.
They also enjoy more social interaction with their families, which is a great thing.
“Studies have shown kids who are spending less time with adults have higher levels of anxiety and depression and lower sleep quality,” Maclay said.
Sleep is also linked to emotional wellbeing.
According a 2015 study in The Journal of Anxiety Disorders, kids who sleep less than seven hours a night are at higher risk of developing anxiety disorders.
More mental health.
“It seems that spending more time in the classroom with your child is important,” MacLan said.
This is also known as “self-care”.
“Research has found that children who are more physically active and social in their school settings are also more likely than their peers to experience depression and anxiety,” Maclain said.
More school resources.
“School resources are important to having access to, so we need to take care of our kids’ resources,” Maclany said.
Parents should also take the time to get to know their child and make sure they understand the school curriculum and school resources they’re receiving.
“When parents know their kids well and can support them in their education, they can support the school in a way that will make a huge difference to a childs wellbeing.”
“Bullying is a major contributor to children’s mental health and wellbeing,” Maclane said.
Kids who are bullied are more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and social isolation, and are also at greater risk of experiencing negative self-perceptions.
“Kids who spend as much time with other people as they do with their own are more loving and supportive and are better able to handle anxiety, mood swings, and bullying,” Maclan said.
More opportunities for creativity.
“Research shows that spending time with kids and spending time in their classrooms is a really good way to build creativity and connect with other kids,” Maclas said.
The findings have implications