Each new school year brings excitement, hope and sometimes, uneasiness for our children. Recently my college-age son and I fell into a conversation that lasted the better part of an evening.
Fathers have always played an important role in their children’s education. Ancient Egyptian texts, early American writings and other historic sources have placed the primary responsibility for educating a child specifically on his father.
When your high school junior or senior is on the verge of dropping out, what can you do?
David and his wife are struggling with their 17-year-old daughter. Her attitude is, "I don't care about school." She'd rather be hanging out with her friends.
Dad, don't you wonder—and worry—about your child's future career path? If your kids are like mine, people started characterizing them from an early age: "Wow, she has long fingers. She'll be a great piano player some day." Or, "He loves to push buttons and figure out how things work. I bet he'll grow up to be an engineer."
Read a good book lately—with your kids?
Let me take you back a few centuries. A Massachusetts Colony law enacted in 1644 stated that heads of households should be responsible for teaching their children to read. Not a bad law.
The continuing barrage of negative media influences—particularly violent video games—challenges fathers to teach their children skills in discernment. A recent Gallup poll found that the “Grand Theft Auto” series is extremely popular among adolescent boys. Even though it received an “M” rating (intended for mature audiences) by the entertainment software rating board, 71% of boys and 34% of girls between the ages of 13 and 17 have played the game.
A Transcript of an Interview with Jim Moore, founder of WATCH D.O.G.S.
Conducted by Ken Canfield, founder of the National Center for Fathering
All fathers can play a critical role in their children’s education. Research shows that when fathers are involved, their children learn more, perform better in school, and exhibit healthier behavior. Seeking to assess the level of father involvement in children’s education, the National Center for Fathering conducted a national random sample in October 1999. The survey contacted 894 men and women and requested their responses to questions related to their children’s education.
There are many things you can do to ease the transition into a new school year. If your kids are like mine, they already have the scoop on their new teachers. Mrs. So-and-so is strict; Mr. So-and-so is really hard; Mrs. So-and-so lets you get away with anything.
I remember the day years ago when my sons brought home a letter from their school. Usual stuff: where to park, be on time, no running in the halls, don't bring guns to school. The letter also listed the responsibilities of all parties in the learning process. The child was to work hard and obey rules. The school staff would create the proper learning environment and guide my children into knowledge.
And me? My job was to see that my child got proper nourishment and rest. That was the (suggested) sum of my involvement in my child's learning.