A lot of teachers often say how they wish parents, especially dads, would play a bigger role in their kids’ education, research has now proved the benefits dads bring to their children education.
In many cases, mums are deemed the primary caregivers and are stereotyped to take the lead with their child’s education. This leads to the perception that dads play a reduced role in their kids’ education.
However new research released by the University of Queensland in recent months found that dads who engage in their children’s education make a huge difference. The research found that a father’s interest in their kids’ education increases the likelihood of their children attaining a university qualification. The same study did not find the same for mothers – this could be because mums are already playing such a big role in their children’s lives, while it can be rarer for dads to show the same level of interest.
Springfield Central State High School media teacher Leisa Krist agrees that it’s vital for fathers to engage in their child’s education.
“The more positive influences a child has, the better,” Leisa says. “If important people in a child’s life are all teaching them that education is important, a child is more likely to value it.”
When looking back on my own childhood, teachers were one of the most positive adult influences in my life. While teachers are excellent role models, educators, counsellors and the rest, parents should fulfil all of these roles too.
Parents’ attitudes around education also impact a child’s attendance, engagement and achievement. If you want your kids to perform you need to remind them how important school is and celebrate their achievements – dads this means you too.
“Education should start in the home,” Leisa says. “There’s so much more to education than just encouraging a child to do their homework. Teaching a child how to cook a meal, the most efficient way to wash a car, how to open a bank account, how to grow potatoes, how to climb up the fort at the local park – this is all part of ‘education’ and encourages thinking and develops understanding.”
So dads, find a way to play a big role in every facet of your kids’ lives, including their education. We know you can do it!
Leisa’s top tips for how dads can engage in their kids’ education
- Take an active interest and ask open questions about what your child is learning
- Be involved and help with homework projects
- Show up to school events and volunteer to help in the classroom
- Contact teachers and introduce yourself
- Ask teachers for feedback about your child or attend parent-teacher interviews
Words // Nicholas Grech