Parental involvement in a child’s life means going beyond the provision of basic needs, being fully aware and around in all his/her developmental processes, and being involved in their day-to-day lives and challenges. Generally, being in the know as to how one’s child is faring at all times.
It is however saddening that many parents have pushed this important role in the lives of their children to external help such as relatives, friends, maids, etc. Worse case, many children are left home alone most times, unguarded, unguided, uncared for. Some parents cannot say where their children are at par time or what they may be doing, who they are with, how they fare academically, or at least one friend they have, etc. Some parents, though they are very present in the same house as their children, they are still emotionally detached from their children, they hardly connect with them and have no meaningful conversations with them. These are still absent and uninvolved parents even though they are seemingly present.
Involvement with one’s children is in no term a small job, it is actually a tasking job because many responsible parents tend to do all they can, get very busy, and go all out to make ends meet. But being involved with one’s children is a duty that should be done deliberately and put as a top priority if we are not going to lose our children in the process of fending for them. Being uninvolved means leaving them at the mercy of themselves, to experiment and figure things out alone, or to their ignorant peers and society to perhaps teach them wrong things when they should actually be guided rightly by their parents.
As a parent, the place of guiding, correcting, and instructing your children should not be left to any other person. Soliciting the help of other people such as relatives and maids to help out with taking care of the children is not a bad idea and might be very much needed as the occasion presents itself but your children should be able to feel your presence and see you really take part in their lives. External help should also be aware of the values you are inculcating in your children, they should see how you are bringing them up and also toe the same line. This is also another way of being involved in your children’s lives; making sure external helps also aligns with the kind of upbringing you are giving to them.
Children will have to scale through life with all its challenges and pitfalls, and having a more experienced and loving adult, who they trust, around them to guide them at every point will boost their self-confidence to make progress.
Uninvolved or Absent Parenting tends to have adverse effects on the lives of children. Research shows that the children of uninvolved parents usually are resilient and may even be more self-sufficient than children with other types of upbringing. However, these skills are developed out of necessity. Additionally, they might have trouble controlling their emotions, less effective coping strategies, may have academic challenges, and difficulty maintaining or nurturing social relationships. ( Ref 1 Ref 2)
Parents need to be involved with the general upbringing and well-being of their children because full parental involvement with children has a great effect on a child’s development. Parental involvement allows children to trust their parents with more information about themselves and receive viable advice instead of seeking solutions from external sources. Children tend to focus more on their academics when they know they have parents to whom they are accountable. Parent involvement in education is crucial. No matter their income or background, students with involved parents are more likely to have higher grades and test scores, attend school regularly, have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school (Ref 3). Children also tend to have a high level of consciousness and mindfulness about involvement with wrongdoings or peers when they have consistent and good guidance and instructions from their parents.
Parental involvement is a two-parties job, for both parents except in cases where one party is deceased or in cases, of single parenting. It will do a child much good to have parents that they live with but in cases where one parent has to be unavoidable far away, technology has now made it possible to keep rich and robust relationships even from far distances.
In the midst of our busy schedules, being a present parent both physically and emotionally is a necessity for every child. Though tasking, it is a fulfilling responsibility when children turn out as well as or better than expected.
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