Realistic Parent Expectations Boost Student Achievement

Parents can certainly push their children too hard or expect too much for their children, but educational researchers have found that the correct kinds of encouragement and expectations can lead to higher rates of student success. In 1983, for example, Rachel Seginer pioneered a study that found a strong correlation between parental expectations and actual student achievement. Another study involving over 1,000 Los Angeles elementary school students found that one of the most consistent predictors of successful social adjustment and academic success was high parental expectations. 

 

How can parents express high (but not too high) expectations for their children?

 

Set realistic goals. Take your child’s age, maturity level, and skill level to set challenging but possible goals. Also encourage your children to set goals for themselves and then work toward them. Be aware that setting goals that are too low can be seen a boring or condescending, while setting goals that are too high can lead to frustration and possible failure.

 

  • Encourage special talents. Don’t expect your child to become a doctor or lawyer just because they are respected professions. Take your child’s interests, gifts, and talents into consideration when setting expectations. If your child loves dance, voice your expectation that they work hard to become better at what they love. If your child loves science, voice your expectation that they enter the science fair.

  • Talk about the future. While setting overly specific goals about the future can lead to disappointment (such as expecting your child to go to your alma mater or expecting your child to take over the family business), talking generally about your expectations for the future (expecting them to attend college or expecting them to work toward a profession they love) can help them better form their own aspirations and dreams.

  • Share your expectations for yourself. If you are working toward your own goals and improving yourself in a way that your child can see, he or she will learn not only to achieve what is expected of them from others, but also to expect themselves to achieve through hard work and planning.

  • Don’t get too specific. While it is healthy to expect your child to achieve and flourish in school, it is not healthy for either parent or child to expect to win a state championship or be valedictorian. Setting very high and detailed standards for your children can be very damaging whether or not your child meets your expectations.

 

Written by Elliott Shostak

Project Appleseed, family engagement, parental involvement public schools

"A 10% increase in parental participation (a form of social capital) would increase academic achievement far more than a 10% increase in school spending."

Project Appleseed, family engagement, parental involvement public schools

This is not an argument against school budget increases, but an argument for paying attention to social capital (Putnam, Sanders 2001). Research repeatedly correlates family engagement with student achievement, yet this strategy is rarely activated as an integral part of school reform efforts (Weiss et al, 2010).  Our program can increase family engagement in your school community!

Project Appleseed's Parental Involvement Toolbox is ourl program designed for educators and parent leaders to supersize and mobilize family engagement.

You get unlimited membershio reproduction rights to our web site content for distribution in newsletters, memos, booklets, pamphlets and more for one year!*

Learn family engagement with our In-person or Online training!. Utilize one of America's most accessible parent and family engagement leaders in your schools!

Download our slideshow: Strong Families, Strong Schools! Family engagement should be an essential strategy in building partnership with parents.

Pledge

AS A PARENT, GRANDPARENT, OR CARING ADULT, I hereby give my pledge of commitment to help our community’s children ....

Toolbox

Project Appleseed's Parental Involvement Toolbox is ourl program designed for educators and parent leaders to supersize and mobilize family engagement.

Report Card

Project Appleseed provides this self-diagnostic tool which is intended to help parents rate their contributions to their child's success at school.

Membership

You get unlimited membership reproduction rights to our web site content for distribution in newsletters, memos, booklets, pamphlets and more for one year!*

Checklist

How well does your school reach out to parents. The following questions can help you evaluate how well your school is reaching out to parents.

Training

Learn family engagement with our In-person or Online training!. Utilize one of America's most accessible parent and family engagement leaders in your schools!

Events

For 25 years we have lead American education with two celebrated events – National Parental Involvement Day and Public School Volunteer Week

Slideshow

Download our slideshow: Strong Families, Strong Schools! Family engagement should be an essential strategy in building partnership with parents.