Even though modern society has become much less traditional about its gender roles, it is still often the mother who plays the primary role in a child’s education. This situation remains more or less unchanged: fathers are more likely to be working outside the home most of the time, leaving the majority of education and upbringing to mothers. However, whether you work outside the home, are a work-from-home entrepreneur, or a full-time stay-at-home dad, you, too can contribute to your children’s education.
Let’s look at some possibilities.
Simply spend more time with children.
Some fathers are too busy with their work to be as engaged as they’d like to be in their children’s activities. In such a situation, any extra time they spend together is a huge bonus, even if they don’t actively participate in any teaching. Studies show that both parents’ involvement is important for kids’ academic success as well as their mental and emotional health. A father can help a great deal simply by setting aside some time every day to talk with his children.
If you aren’t that good at a subject, why not study it together with your child? Nothing is better for making your child feel more self-confident and secure than showing that their father is learning alongside and probably doesn’t get everything as quickly as they do. Don’t be afraid of losing your authority; on the contrary, this experience can help you teach your child to think independently and trust their own conclusions more.
Help with studies and homework.
Some parents are content with signing the child for a course of English for kids and leaving it at that, believing that once you’ve hired a tutor, it’s their job to do the actual teaching. The problem is, this approach not only leaves the educational process completely at the mercy of a third party but also demonstrates that you rinse your hands of your child’s education as well, which is never a good thing. Finding time to sit down with your child, check how there are doing with their homework, explaining things when necessary helps tremendously to build up your relationship and, of course, assists them in learning.
Show interest in what the children are doing.
If you don’t ever seem to be interested in activities your child is engaged in, it can create a very dangerous situation: the child will start both thinking and feeling you to be something external, something that doesn’t belong to the world he normally lives in. If such a condition settles in, it may be extremely difficult to turn the tables. Even if you later start showing interest, the child is going to be suspicious of your motives, feel nervous and tense throughout the time you spend together, sighing with relief only after you leave. If you don’t want things to come to that, start showing interest as early as possible.
There is a ton of activities fathers can share with their children. Build stuff. Go on a field trip. Ask the child to help when you are doing something about the house. The best way for kids to learn is to watch somebody and join them on a project. Doing something together with children will let you build up your bond and teach them valuable lessons as well.
Read to and with the children.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that reading is one of the most important skills defining the future success of a child. However, in modern society, catching the attention of a child long enough to get them interested in reading became a real challenge, what with so many distractions like TV, video games or tablets. One of the excellent ways out is to start a reading routine together with your child. By reading to the child and reading yourself, you open the door to wonderful new worlds, teach the child to respect and love books and get them used to thinking about them as a source of fascinating stories they would like to read on their own.
Meet the teachers.
By meeting and talking to the people teaching your children, you learn more about their curriculum and extracurricular activities, what you children struggle with and how you can help them in general. Getting to know the teachers means getting yet another connection to how your kids are being educated.
When all is said and done, father’s role in education can be, simply, engagement. By taking part, by showing interest, by going to great lengths to spend more time with your children, you leave a trace that is going to remain with them for the entirety of their lives. Embrace this opportunity.
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