Parents and carers care for, love and understand their children: we help our children to develop the practical and emotional skills 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 about 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 five 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. Please read the Success Stories below for ideas and inspiration.
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.
Laws and Policies for Families and Schools
The legal and policy essentials for parents and schoolsLeaflet
New Seat Belt Legislation for School Transport in Scotland from 1 August 2018
New legislation requires seat belts on dedicated school transportResource
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
Supporting Transgender Young People: Guidance for Schools in Scotland
This guidance offers a full and helpful information pack if you parent or work with transgender young peopleFAQ
School Exclusion: Know your Rights
Enquire has produced two really helpful infographics to set out formal and unlawful practices relating to school exclusionsResource
Help with School Exclusions
These information leaflets for parents/carers from the Pupil Inclusion Network Scotland will help youResource
Parent Info Website
This website is a joint project between Education Scotland's Parentzone and the National Crime Agency's Child Exploitation and Online Protection teamResource
Connect's Annual Lecture 2019 with Carol Craig
Listen to this recording of Carol Craig's lecture, Learning to Cope: How Do Children Become Resilient?Resource
Ten Key Messages on Developing Resilience
Carol Craig, author and Chief Executive of the Centre for Confidence and Well-being, shares her ten key messages on developing children's resilienceResource
Connect's Anti-Bullying Guide for Parents and Parent Councils
Parent Councils have a crucial role in challenging bullying behaviour and in helping the whole school community to nurture positive, respect-based relationshipsResource
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
Cultivating a Culture of Reading: Dinner and a Book
An American high school project helps young people to enjoy reading at home
A Winter Reading Night to Encourage a Love of Reading
An American primary school hosts a family event with the support of community businesses and social enterprises
Charity Shop - Webster's High School Parent Council, Angus
Webster's High School Parent Council ran a charity shop to raise funds
Parent Council Chair Support Group - Angus
Connect works with local Parent Councils and Angus Council to establish a group for Parent Council chairs
Roundtable Discussion Event for Parents of Teenagers: US Middle School
This school organised a discussion event, supported by a counsellor, for parents of teenagers