Parental Characteristics that Facilitate Student Academic Success

We know teachers play a huge role in a child’s academic success, but parental influence is arguable greater. Here are a few parental characteristics, from the educational literature, that have significant impact on a student’s success.

Emotional Support provided by the parents

1. The quality of care-giving being provided by parents together. This includes how parents nurture, support and encourage their child, and set boundaries for them.

2. How satisfied parents are with their life, with their spouse and with their child. These make up part of the overall family climate, determine whether the child feel family pressures and can determine if a child receives the emotional stability needed to learn.

Parents Influence and as Role Models

1. Parent are expectation setters for children. Parents occupation and its perceived prestige, their level of education, the value they place on education for the child all play a role in creating a set of expectations at which children will strive to perform. Yes, unfortunately socioeconomic factors play a huge role, but their influence (if negative) can be offset with other factors.

2. Parental language use. This may be a controversial finding for some, but when a child’s understanding is being assessed through a language it means that there are particular phrases, ways of talking (and consequently thinking) that are valued more than others. This has been found to also be related to socioeconomic level.

3. Parents that act as role models in how they deal with difficulties and challenging times. This may include deliberately providing children with strategies to overcome difficulties or being role models in solving challenges (emotional and academic).

4. Parental involvement in school, including school selection, selecting the right interventions for the child at the correct time as a means of helping the child succeed and progress through difficulties and challenging material

Structural Parental Support

1. Being able to provide a child with a quiet place to study and work

2. The presence of, and access to, books in the home

A few extra notes;

  1. One of the biggest problems I have found in the classroom relates to language use. In class, students may demonstrate they understand scientific concepts and ideas, as well as the application of these ideas. However, when tested in written form they provide inadequate answers and/or may not have read the question correctly therefore not understanding the actual question being asked. It has been found that a child’s literacy level is positively influenced by parents that spend time reading and talking with them.
  2. The literature notes that having one or more parent that is a strict disciplinarian plays a negative effect on a child’s academic success.