Parents and carers care for, love and understand their children: we help our children to develop the practical and emotional skills that they need at different ages and stages. We’re the most important people in their lives. But we often learn how to parent as we go along, facing the stresses and strains of parenting without any training and often without much experience! Increasingly, there are opportunities for us to learn about child development and our role as parents. You can ask your school or local authority what is available in your area to support your parenting.
It is really important for children and young people to know that the adults in their lives are interested in how and what they are doing. They may need help and advice, and they definitely need encouragement as they learn and then use new skills. Parents and families can show their interest and support in a wide range of ways.
For some families, this means volunteering at school or being in the Parent Teacher Association or Parent Council. For others, it means spending time at home, helping children with advice and encouragement, or helping them to find new ways of building their knowledge. There is no right or wrong way, and things will change depending on the age and stage of your child. What works for a 5 year old won’t be right when they are 15!
At Connect we are committed to helping parental involvement to be the best it can be, for the sake of children and young people. We have looked at the research on what works best, and we use the work of Dr Joyce Epstein of the National Network of Partnership Schools to help parents, teachers and others in education to work together in the possible best ways.
Tips for schools, teachers and parent groups to support parenting
Early years centres and schools can help and support parents with their parenting by providing information on children's development and learning. They can suggest ways in which parents can get involved with their child's learning.
For example, schools, teachers and parent groups can
- share information with parents on parenting for each age and stage through workshops, messages on social media, text messages, on the school website
- organise courses, training or information on child/teenage development, how children learn, how to talk to your child about sexual health and relationships, internet safety
- host courses and training or sharing information on housing, health, nutrition, clothing, safety
- create opportunities for parents to share information about their family culture, background, and their child’s talents and needs.
Keeping Children Safe – a Positive Approach
Keeping children safe in practical waysLeaflet
Laws and Policies for Families and Schools
The legal and policy essentials for parents and schoolsLeaflet
What is Partnership Schools Scotland?
Connect's explanation of its fantastic parental engagement in education Partnership Schools Scotland project What is Partnership Schools Scotland?Leaflet
Bereavement Support Initiative - Meldrum Primary, Aberdeenshire
A parent group looks to the wider community for advice on bereavement
Parents talk to children about their learning - St Nicholas Primary School, Broxburn
Parents are kept up-to-date with their children's learning by schools
Outdoors and numeracy - Friockheim Primary School, Angus
Friockheim PS uses outdoor activities to support numeracy
Improving food choices - St Francis Primary School, Glasgow
Healthy eating is promoted through cookery classes for parents and children
Parent Council Facebook Page - Middleton Park Primary Parent Council, Aberdeen
Setting up a Facebook page helps with communications
Parent Council Facebook Page - Giffnock Primary School Parent Council, East Renfrewshire
A Facebook Page helps a Parent Council to share information with parents
School Grounds and Gardening Club - Dunbar Primary School Parent Council, East Lothian
Partnership-working has produced great results for Dunbar Primary School