Parents and Education

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The foundation for successful education is created in the home. It begins with parent-child relationships. Positive attitudes about school, learning, and life provide a framework for building, and sustaining excellence.

Responsibilities of Parents

As a parent you should:

·         Know the school’s code of conduct and ensure that your child upholds it,

·         Strengthen the code of conduct by taking primary responsibility for your child’s discipline.

·         Get to know your child’s teacher. A good parent-teacher relationship ensures a happier child with a
strong sense of security. 

·         Be involved by supporting your child’s academic and extramural activities.

·         Listen with an open mind to your child and the teacher.

Every school has a code of conduct that is the school’s framework for the creation of a culture of positive behaviour within which learners should conduct themselves. The code of conduct will guide parents and learners about the behaviour that is expected of learners and the consequences of their behaviour if they don’t follow the code of conduct.


Parental Pressure

There’s a huge amount of pressure on teenagers to succeed at school and on the sports field – from their teachers, parents, and themselves. As parents, we want the best for our kids, and it’s surprisingly easy to put too much pressure on them. That’s why it’s important to know when you’re being supportive or demanding.

Too much pressure damages a child’s self-esteem, and can lead to severe consequences, including depression. It can lead to stress, causing headaches, stomach aches, neck-aches, lack of sleep, and even anxiety attacks. When students don’t meet their parents’ expectations, it creates a sense of worthlessness.

The focus shouldn’t be placed on academic success but developing their passion for learning. Parents need to support their child and give regular praise when they accomplish something, they feel proud of.

This way, children learn to aim for success for themselves, and not just their parents.


5 Ways Parental Pressure Can Cause More Harm Than Good

The road to raising kids is paved with good intentions, but even the most well-intentioned moms and dads can sometimes subject their children to unrealistic demands. Here are three ways that parental pressure can backfire, along with tips on how to moderate your expectations.

1. Parental Pressure Can Hijack a Child’s Natural Development

The drive to bring up accomplished kids comes from two places. The first is an internalized desire to make up for something we feel was lacking in our own youth. If you were bullied, for instance, you might believe it’s extra important to raise a child who is kind to others. We might also be motivated by a compulsion to keep up with the neighbours, leading parents to pressure their kids to master skills like reading or sharing before they are developmentally ready.

2. High Standards Can Hold Kids Back

Parental pressure to excel in too many realms can affect your child’s ability to learn. If they are putting in the work required to be a top performer in multiple ways at school, swim class and piano lessons, it can leave little room for downtime. Breaks are essential, especially for children, since we all learn better if we give our brains a chance to rest. Free time allows us to integrate and digest what we’ve learned in order to fully comprehend and build on it.


3. Parental Pressure Shakes Kids’ Confidence

Giving your child space to make and resolve errors helps them gain confidence


4. It Devalues Effort

To get ahead of a tendency toward perfection, parents should praise effort rather than achievement. Setting clear standards for behaviour and accomplishments is useful, but when your child falls short, avoid responding with anger. This will only cause them to avoid you or lie to cover up their mistakes.


5. Perfectionism is Hard on Parents Too

Consider what kind of role model you are. Little ones must see their parents being open about their mistakes. We all mess up occasionally even perfectionist parents say things they don’t mean, raising their voices at loved ones, forgetting important occasions. These moments can become teachable ones. Acknowledge how you might have acted differently to produce a better outcome. Go easy on yourself and make a point of showing your kids you’re doing so. It will go a long way toward setting them up for success.


How parents can contribute meaningfully to the success of their children in schools

The role of parents and guardians in their children’s education is vital. Research has proven beyond dispute that effectively engaging parents and families in the education of their children has a positive influence on the success of the learners.

The role of schools is to give children the best possible opportunity to learn and be successful. Successful schools have parents and teachers working together in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

It is the parent’s duty to ask themselves the following questions:

·         How is my child doing at school?

·         How can I make sure that my child is successful at school?

·         How can I make sure that my child improves?

·         What can I do to make sure that my child has a positive experience at school?

·         How can I support my child and encourage them through difficult times?


The African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child" means that the work of raising and educating a child cannot be left to the parent alone but rather needs an entire community. It is only as the ‘village’ participates and strives together that children will receive good education.

The term parent is used in a broad and inclusive way to mean any caregiver responsible for caring for, and supporting, a learner. This is referenced to the South African Schools Act (No. 84 of 1996) (SASA), as amended, which defines a parent as:

(a) The biological or adoptive parent or legal guardian of a learner;
(b) The person legally entitled to custody of a learner; or
(c) The person who undertakes to fulfil the obligations of a person referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) towards the learner’s education at school.


Do Your Kids Respect You and their Educators?

We often forget that children aren’t born with a built-in sense of respect for others. Our children need to be taught to be respectful. Think about it, from birth, kids manipulate their world to get their needs met, usually by crying. It’s natural and appropriate.

As kids get older, it’s our job as parents/teachers to teach them respectful ways of getting their needs met. Crying, manipulation, and disrespect are certainly not respectful ways to accomplish this.


Why Are Our Kids Disrespectful?

People wonder why kids can be so disrespectful. Indeed, it’s common to see children and teens arguing with adults (or ignoring them outright), using foul language, copping an attitude, and not using manners or respecting those in authority. Sadly, this has become the norm for many children and teens.

More important, though, is that many parents have not established a firm culture of accountability in their home. Part of the problem is that parents are often busy, which makes it much harder to respond immediately to our kids. Let’s face it, it’s easier to let things slide when you’re worn out and stressed from working so hard.

So how can you change the culture in your own house if disrespectful behaviour is starting—or is already a way of life? Here are some tips to start getting respect back from our kids:

1. Remember That Your Child Is Not Your Friend

It’s not about your child liking you or even thanking you for what you do. It’s important to remember that your child is not your friend. He/She is your child. Your job is to coach him/her to be able to function in the world. This means teaching him/her to behave respectfully to others, not just you.

When you think your child might be crossing the line, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Would I let the neighbour say these things to me? Would I let a stranger?” If the answer is no, don’t let your child do it, either.

Someday when your child becomes an adult, your relationship may become more of a friendship. But for now, it’s your job to be his/her parent: his/her teacher, coach and limit setter—not the buddy who lets him/her get away with things.

2. Catch Disrespect Early and Plan Ahead If You Can

It’s good to catch disrespectful behaviour early, if possible. If your child is rude or disrespectful, don’t turn a blind eye. Intervene and say:

“We don’t talk to each other that way in this family/school.”

3. Get in Alignment with Your Co-Parent

It’s so important for you and your co-parent to be on the same page when it comes to your child’s behaviour. Make sure one of you isn’t allowing the disrespectful behaviour while the other is trying to intercede. Sit down together and talk about what your bottom lines are, and then come up with a plan of action. Make a list of consequences you might give if your child breaks the rules.

4. Teach Your Child Basic Social Interaction Skills

It may sound old fashioned, but it’s very important to teach your child basic manners like saying “please” and “thank you.” When your child deals with his/her teachers in school or gets his/her first job and has these skills to fall back on, it will really go a long way.

Understand that using manners, just a simple “excuse me” or “thank you” is also a form of empathy. It teaches your kids to respect others and acknowledge their impact on other people. When you think about it, disrespectful behaviour is the opposite of being empathetic and having good manners.

5. Be Respectful When You Correct Your Child

When your child is being disrespectful, you as a parent need to correct them in a respectful manner. Yelling and getting upset and having your own attitude in response to theirs, is not helpful. In fact, it often only escalates their disrespectful behaviour. The truth is, if you allow their disrespectful behaviour to affect you, it’s difficult to be an effective teacher.

Instead, you can pull your child aside and give them a clear message of what is acceptable. You don’t need to shout at them or embarrass them.

6. Set Realistic Expectations for Your Child’s Behaviour

This may mean that you need to lower your expectations. Don’t plan a huge road trip with your kids, for example, if they don’t like to ride in the car. If your child has trouble in large groups and you plan an event for 30 people, you’re likely to set everyone up for disappointment and probably an argument!

7. Clarify the Limits When Things Are Calm

When you’re in a situation where your child is disrespectful, that’s not the ideal time to do a lot of talking about limits or consequences. Wait until you are in calm and relaxed circumstances when you talk with your child about his/her behaviour and what your expectations are.

8. Talk About What Happened Afterward

If your child is disrespectful or rude, talk about what happened once things are calm. Talk about how it could have been dealt with differently. This is a chance for you, as a parent, to listen to your child and hear what was going on with her when that behaviour happened. Try to stay objective.

9. Don’t Take It Personally

One of the biggest mistake’s parents can make is to take their child’s behaviour personally. The truth is, you should never fall into that trap because the teenager next door is doing the same thing to his/her parents. And your cousin’s daughter is doing the same thing to her parents. All kids have conflicts with their parents. Your role is to just deal with your child’s behaviour as objectively as possible.

When parents don’t have effective ways to deal with these kinds of things, they may feel out of control and get scared. As a result, they often overreact or underreact to the situation. When they overreact, they become too rigid. And when they under react, they ignore the behaviour or tell themselves it’s “just a phase.” Either way, it won’t help your child learn to manage his thoughts or emotions more effectively. And it won’t teach him to be more respectful.

It’s Never Too Late to Improve Your Child’s Behaviour

Understand that if you haven’t been able to intervene early with your kids, you can start at any time. Even if your child is constantly exhibiting disrespectful behaviour, you can begin stepping in and setting those clear limits.

Kids really do want limits, even if they protest. And they will protest! The message that they get when you step in and set limits is that they’re cared about, that they’re loved, and that you really want them to be successful and able to function well in the world. Our kids won’t thank us now, but that’s okay. It’s not about getting them to thank us, it’s about doing the right thing.


Families' Responsibilities to their Schools

A School’s success is a joint effort. Successful learning experiences begin at home. The more involved a parent is in his/her child’s learning, the more likely the child will succeed in school and in life. Success in school begins with parental involvement in the learning process. Clear expectations and support set the tone for learning, enhancing relationships between home and school. Every child should be encouraged to achieve learning goals and make the best grades possible.

School success is also measured by the child’s ability to get along with others. An important part of learning is communicating and cooperating with other children and adults to reach group and personal goals. Families share in the task of defining roles and responsibilities for their children both at home and in school.

From the time a child enters school, parents and teachers need to work together to develop academic, and social potential. The goal of families and schools working together is to nurture skills for developing lifelong learning. The foundation for school success is created in the home. It begins with parent-child relationships. Positive attitudes about school, learning, and life provide a framework for building, and sustaining excellence.

Family Responsibilities

1. Provide a loving and supportive home environment.

2. Practice active listening, hold conversations, and show that you are interested in what your child has to say.

3. Send your child to school prepared for the day with an adequate breakfast and a good night’s rest.

4. Keep the school informed of any changes in your child’s home life that might affect his/her progress in school.

5. Work with teachers, staff and other parents in a cooperative way.

6. Learn as much as possible about the school.

7. Provide parent leadership by taking part in activities at the school.

8. Contribute your services in whatever way you can toward enrichment of the total school.

9. Offer constructive criticism, if necessary.

10. Become involved in school and community programmes that help improve the academic and social health of those involved.


Children nurtured in a shared learning environment arrive at school with the fundamental skills and attitudes that teachers equate with success.