Educational Insights 10.21.2013
Educational Insights 10.21.2013
Posted on 10/21/2013

An article in the October 2013 “High School Today” about the role of parents in activity programs served as a great reminder of the value of positive parental involvement. According to Dan Gerdes, “parental involvement is an integral piece of the success formula” for students!

          Since these programs often involve mom and dad’s most valuable gift -their son or daughter- parents feel compelled to closely observe and scrutinize activities to make sure their child is not going to be hurt in any way. Parents unquestionably have this right and the moral obligation to keep their kids free from harm.

So how can parents, coaches, and student-athletes work together to accomplish this important goal? Gerdes states, “one of the keys to making the relationship work for everyone is to understand the difference between rights and shared responsibilities”. Focusing on “shared responsibilities” establishes common ground to promote positive outcomes. Rights, too often, are used as tools of entitlement and conflict.

Today, the increase of social media has diminished effective personal communication with parents in many ways. People will often write about someone on social media something they would never say to them personally. Yet, most everyone still recognizes and appreciates the connection of a friendly face-to-face conversation, handshake, or smile - none of which happen on Facebook posts, blogs, through a Twitter feed, or cell phone text.

It is understandable that sometimes, parents just need to vent, without fear of retaliation. Most coaches and sponsors are parents themselves and recognize how difficult it is when their own child is upset or hurting. This is common ground that they share to resolve concerns. While school policy prohibits discussing playing time, school staff are willing to work cooperatively in helping every student meet their full potential. This is a “shared responsibility”.

When all the adults in a child’s life model respect, decency, trustworthiness, and humility, it becomes the expectation for them to practice as future adults.

Direct and respectful communication is the best way to maximize a student’s success! Relationships are never simple, but can be improved with clear expectations from all parties involved. Increased communication and remembering to treat others the way one would like to be treated, will result in a win-win-win outcome for all!

-Dr. Paula Sissel

Superintendent/Elementary Principal