I recently came accross this wonderful book which clearly explains the important role that we as parents play in our children’s lives. When I created my website Two2Read.com, it was with this fact in mind. I believe strongly that the parent’s role in a child’s life is the singularly most important element in building the child’s future. Here are some important facts the book teaches us:
Fact one: Up to age 18, students spend 87 percent of waking hours outside school in the care of the parents or guardians. Parents do make the difference.
Fact two: The support that parents give to their children is at least twice as important as socio-economic factors in terms of determining the lifelong success of children.
Fact three: In national surveys, children rate parents as being their greatest heroes, well ahead of rock stars and sports personalities.
Fact four: The National Institute of Mental Health discovered that the single best way to reduce the risk of aggression, depression, and suicide is for parents to dialogue with their children on a regular basis.
Fact five: Ninety percent of what is known about the brain and learning has been discovered in the last 10 years. The Society for Neuroscience has grown from 500 to 30,000 members, who have an average age of 32. Breakthroughs in brain science are giving us insights into more effective ways for helping all children learn.
Fact six: The learning strategies that children learn from parents can be critical to academic success. For example, a mother learned BrainSMART strategies and taught them to her daughter after she failed important tests. When the daughter took the tests again, she got the highest possible marks!
Fact seven: In a recent survey, children said the most important thing they wanted was not more time from their parents, but was for their parents to be less stressed and fatigued.
Fact eight: A Gallup Poll discovered that parents thought that the most important area of learning in school was all-around health education.
Fact nine: Optimism, a learned way of thinking about the world, is the key to lifelong health happiness and academic success.
To illustrate this last point, I will share a personal story about my family. My husband and I would ask the children every night at dinner to share something about their day. We would ask “What was the best thing you learned today at school ?” Then they each would have to take turns sharing what that thing was. They would know that each day this would be the dinner conversation that night. So every day in their early years, they looked forward to find one interesting thing to share that evening at the family dinner together.
Parents are the most powerful force in children’s lives. “It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.” ~Joyce Maynard