Pearson, in associated with NBC News, has released their State of Parenting report which has data from a nation-wide survey of parents. When it comes to parental engagement, this report has much to say.
To begin with, nearly four in five parents (79%) say they eat dinner together as a family on most days of the week. And a majority of parents (51%) say that they spend more time with their children than their own parents spent with them.
Now, here’s an interesting tidbit: “parents who say they are satisfied with their own level of involvement are more likely (82%) to rate their kid’s education as excellent or good.” In other words, parents who trust themselves are more likely perceive their children as receiving a quality education.
When it comes to making parental more effective, parents are looking for, “a better understanding of the benchmarks and skills that their children are expected to master” and “training [i.e., workshops or classes] on dealing with . . . educational issues.” What is especially noteworthy here is that minority parents are more likely to say these strategies would be very effective in helping them.
Here’s the bottom line. Research has found that a parent’s self-efficacy (belief that they can parent well and that through their parenting, they can better the life of their child) is linked to positive outcomes in parenting. (See, for example, “Self-Efficacy and Parenting Quality, a report from Coleman and Karraker”) When parents trust themselves, they feel confident and are thus positioned to be a better parent. As educators, we need to support parents and encourage them to be confident in their ability to parent. And when parents ask for benchmarks and workshops, we should supply them.
Read the full report here.