In many families, Mom is the primary contact between school and home. But Dad also has an important part to play in a child’s achievement and social/emotional adjustment at school.
The Center for Educational Statistics reports that when a Dad attends a school event or parent/teacher conference, the child is more likely to get “good grades” across grade levels and the likelihood decreases of her failing a grade or being suspended from grade 6 onward. This holds true even when Dad does not live at home.
For children with learning challenges and/or ADHD, having a Dad demonstrate his support by walking through the Science Fair, being a monthly “Reading Mom” (yes, that is what school may call you), or attending the school Carnival is a big deal. You give teachers the chance to develop a less formal relationship with you. Your child’s peers will likely enjoy attention from you – even if it is just a friendly “Hello.” Your child’s position in the social hierarchy with his peers might go up!
Sometimes fathers feel that they are not equipped to deal with school issues and so leave it to Mom. Dads send a message when they attend a Parent/Teacher Conference. The message is that your child’s schooling is important to you. Dads don’t have to say much – just listen with attention and perhaps ask a question. Visiting the classroom during Back to School Night might give you an idea of what happens at school. Volunteering will help you see how your child functions relative to peers, whether in Brownies, painting a set for the school play or doing the ring toss at the Carnival.
Dads – Any advice for other fathers about getting involved at school?
Blogger Mary Ann Mulcahey, PhD, shares her expertise in assessment and diagnosis of learning disabilities and ADHD, and the social/emotional adjustment to those issues. If you have questions, please contact Mary Ann at .