Parenting Connection: Why family engagement sets kids up for greater success

Parenting Connection

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Why family engagement sets kids up for greater success

It’s no secret that when parents are involved with their children, kids do much better in all phases — but there’s another level to this, and that is engagement. The quick difference is, involvement means parents are aware and supportive of what their kids are doing — while engagement is a collaborative relationship between parents and family members to improve child development in all categories.

According to research, in instances where family engagement is the emphasis…
*Student achievement is greater
*Fewer disciplinary issues
*Improved parent-teacher, teacher-student relationships
*Increases family trust and respect
*Boosts family buy-in when it comes to rules and responsibilities.

When planning family engagement initiatives, consider these tips from the Michigan State University Extension:

*Prioritize the process, not the product. Instead of focusing on concrete end results, focus energy on the process of playing and learning together.

*Encourage cooperation. Find activities that require children and adults to work together to accomplish a goal or solve a problem.

*Keep it low-pressure. Plan activities that are fun, easy and allows children and adults to engage without feeling stressed or anxious about achieving.

*Mix it up. Engagement opportunities should connect the family’s varying interests, skills, and strengths.

Child development experts say family engagement benefits not only your kids but parents, teachers, and other family members as well.

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