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Urban parenting and schooling
A large number of people are gradually relocating to urban cities, which are social and financial centres, to get better jobs, better healthcare, better living standards and better education. Because of nuclear families in most urban areas of the country, both the parents are job oriented as they desire to acquire a good lifestyle. There is a sudden decrease of spare and valuable time to spend with kids who require lot of parental attention and indirect involvement in educating their minds.

In the beginning, your kids need you - a lot. They are attached to you may be for few months or two to four years. Then suddenly you are sending them to school for five to seven hours a day, where they will have to cope with life in ways they never had to before. You no longer control what they learn, or how, or with whom because you have job pressures and less time for your child. Your child is under the control of a babysitter. As soon as he / she attains the age of 2, you start seeking admission for him / her in school.

The parents have to make a number of sacrifices - financial, professional, and emotional - so that one of them can always be with their child. Although there are many people who can't stay home with their small children no matter how much they want to and no matter which way they rearrange their lives, here the role of a good school helps tremendously. From pre-school to high school, the school hunt can become very difficult for urban parents, as they always want to send their child to the best school, for which there is a strong competition.

While hunting for a good school few points must be taken into consideration - distance, transportation, infrastructure, fee structure, environment, academics, discipline, hygiene, medical facilities, medium of teaching, stability, affiliation, curriculum, facilities to students, student-teacher ratio, co-curricular activities, achievements, results, etc. As per priority, the parent may select a school according to above mentioned points in different order or sequence, though each and every point have their own weightage in selecting a perfect school for the child.

Since the positive correlation between parent involvement and student achievement has been well documented, the uncooperative parents appear to be solely responsible for their child's poor performance in school.

Schools can play an important role in transforming parents by empowering them with different sense of themselves, which can clarify their perspective and unleash their commitment and creativity to benefit their children. Instead of child centric education, urban schools should adapt parent centric education, which may improve their parenting skills in the process of nurturing a child. For example, a parent can be trained on time management, which may prove to be beneficial in spending quality time with the child.

While virtually all schools promote parent involvement, there are different types of involvement, as per Joyce Epstein of Johns Hopkins University's Center on School Family and Community Partnerships :-

    Parenting, in which schools help families with their parenting skills by providing information on children’s developmental stages and offering advice on learning-friendly home environments.

    Communicating, or working to educate families about their child’s progress and school services and providing opportunities for parents to communicate with the school.

    Volunteering, which ranges from offering opportunities for parents to visit their child’s school to finding ways to recruit and train them to work in school or classroom.

    Learning at home, in which schools and educators share ideas to promote at-home learning through high expectations and strategies so parents can monitor and help with homework.

    Decision-making, in which schools include families as partners in school organizations, advisory panels, and similar committees.

    Community collaboration, a two-way outreach strategy in which community or business groups are involved in education and schools encourage family participation in the community.

Changed attitudes, values and behaviour are the building blocks of empowerment. Priorities for parent involvement need to be changed and alternative approaches explored, which can transform their ability to impact the education of their children.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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