Parentsâ expectations influence childrenâs expectations as well. There are those parents who do not expect their child to be able to write their name in Pre K, and then there are those that wonder why is their child falling behind and not already reading sight words. Some send their children to Kumon Learning Centers or hire a tutor to guarantee their childâs maximum success in school. Others send them to enrichment classes over the weekends. Then, there are those parents that allow their child to sleep in and miss classes because, âItâs no big dealâ.
The fact is parentâs expectations as well as their educational and cultural background can have a strong effect on childâs educational outcome. Amy Chua author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother believes that her parentsâ high expectations for her, and love were the greatest gifts anyone had given to her. Amy Chuaâs perspective has been debated over and over from TV shows and blogs. This is because she strongly believes that in America, parents can and should do the same with their children. They should demand more than what they typically do. I like it when she says that we should assume strength in our children. I believe this to be also a characteristic of a good teacher. My sonâs friend who is also Asian-American told him that his parents expect him to get all Aâs and that a B is for beating. I have met several Asian-American parents who have their children in enrichment programs. These are children who not only go to school from Monday to Friday but their days are also filled with piano lessons, chess, tennis, as well as advanced Math and Writing tutors. Many Asian-American children like Mrs. Chuaâs, have parents who do not allow their children to have sleepovers. My sonâs friend couldnât have an X Box because his parents asked him, âWill an X Box put food on a table?â Just the other day in my writing class at the Chinese School a 12 year old came up to me and said, she was already planning her classes for high school and knew what she needed to do to have a high point score average to be able to enter Baylor Medical school program. When parents have high expectations they teach children to have them for themselves as well. Children learn to plan for their future and believe in their strength to do so.
Social scientists have studied this intergenerational link and believe that a childâs outcome is strongly influenced by their parentsâ income, their social class and their parentsâ behavior. This is what they have to say.
There are several studies and research supporting that child development is linked to parental background. In a study done by Arnaud Chevalier called âParental Education and Childâs Education: A Natural Experimentâ published on IZA â The Institute for the Study of Laborâ in Bonn states some interesting points to consider. They mentioned there is a great amount of evidence on the positive relationship between parental education. I was surprised by the amount of research done and written on how important a motherâs education was to a childâs educational outcome. Interestingly it is a common view that better educated parents provide an environment that helps and promotes childrenâs opportunities.
There is still research needed to find out if increased parental education does improve parental skills or simply changes the value that parents may attach to the education of their children. In my personal experience I feel parental education may improve parental skill, because educated parents will look and research ways to become better parents if they needed too. Educated parents will have the tools they need to find the answers that they need. These attributions can make parenting more efficient.
There are several studies that show, parental education does have a significant effect on the attainment of childrenâs education. Parental cognitive skills are higher when educated; nevertheless, they can also interfere with effective parenting. In most cases educated parents thrive in having educated children and work hard on it.
When negative feelings exist, these same feelings will distract parents from the task of parenting. It makes it more difficult for them to react appropriately and effectively to the challenges of socialization and education of their child.
Negative feelings can rise from parents who are divorced and are not effectively problem solving their differences.
Research shows an importance in combining a balanced level of discipline and control, with parental warmth to produce positive child outcomes.
Parental beliefs also affect a childâs values. In Mexico many parents instill the importance of education and try to make it a priority in their childâs life. This is why you will find Latin-American parents who may be uneducated with a low-income and can still motivate their child in achieving a higher degree. Then, again the importance that the low-income parent places on income could backfire and eclipse a value in education.
Also when a child is raised surrounded by socioeconomic struggles they generally tend to have the same socioeconomic struggles themselves as adults. The reason behind it is that many of them start working younger and will less likely pursue higher education. Now, it is not always true that lower-income parents are neglectful parents, but may easily slip into that stereotype.Â These are parents that have less time to spend with their children. They have multiple jobs and are hardly ever involved in helping their child with their homework. Children at times are left with their older sibling, and often suffer their parents stress for money and time. Susan B. Neuman reveals by looking at past research that âthere is an inevitable distrust and enmity between teachers and parents, especially in low-income compared to parents of higher incomes.â Neuman concludes that âalthough both want what is best for the child, each has a different conception of what constitutes âbestâŚâ predestined each for the discomfiture of the other.â Neuman has reported that many working-class and lower class parents find it hard to accept and comply with some crucial aspects of the model of family-school involvement. Then again there are those in upper âclass that believe that since they are paying for private education their participation may not be necessary and place all responsibility of their child education on their childâs teacher.
Public schools in an effort to alleviate some of this stress have established and developed workshops to help students of all backgrounds thrive in school. This is an effort made on behalf of the school to develop and promote the relationships between parents and their children. Many of these workshops are aimed to help parents of lower-incomes and of less privileged educational backgrounds to learn how to help their children succeed in school.
After reading several articles, no matter whether parents are high, middle, or low-income parents, they all have a very important partnership in their childâs learning outcome. In helping the low-income alleviate some of the stress, this may benefit the studentsâ outcome in school.
What is your opinion on this? Do you believe that Public Schools can alleviate the stressors of low-income families? What other things do you think could be done? I would love to hear your comments on this.