Attitudes Can Be Barriers to Engaging Parents and Student Relationships
Any young person will agree that sometimes it is just hard to get your parents involved in what you’re doing. And to be honest, some young people don’t want their parents involved in their projects. Students go through a range of emotions and often attitudes can be barriers to engaging parents. But, believe it or not, working together with your parents can be one of the most awesome, enriching experiences that you can have.
At CoolSpeak, we understand that parents can have a positive influence on students. And we want to help you understand what might be hindering your communication and collaboration with your parents. We identified three attitudes than can make it difficult for students and parents to work together.
Three Types of Attitudes
1. The “I can do it myself” attitude. This is an extremely common attitude for younger and older people alike. We don’t like to admit that we need help with anything. We would rather struggle through it on our own. Parents are worried about their projects, and students are worried about theirs. Why let the two lives overlap when each party would be satisfied working alone? This attitude is very common for parent-student relationships.
2. The “my perspective only” attitude. This attitude is also very easy for people of all ages to fall into. In our own stage of life, we often fail to remember that others’ perspective may be different. Parents forget that their students’ perspective is different from their own. Students don’t give one thought to their parents’ perspective. This attitude is perilous at the least. It often is a matter of respect and caring rather than indifference.
3. The “don’t control me” attitude. As human beings, we naturally do not want anyone else to control our lives. When parents enter the projects of students, the students feel as though their parents are trying to control what they are doing. While this sometimes be the case, it can also be a misunderstanding. Most parents simply want to be involved – they like to help and feel needed. However, students can take it as an attempt to control their lives and thus push their parents away. This also is detrimental to parental engagement in student activity.
While these attitudes are tough to overcome, take heart! With a little determination, they can be put aside and students can work together with their parents for optimum results.
Students – We encourage open lines of communication – without the emotional reaction. Speak openly about your feelings and discuss your plan of action. If you need help, ask for help – but students – be open to that help. It may not be what you expected but it is valuable to have a variety of resources available to help you when you need it. Remember, while it may be annoying – you WANT to have engaging parents who care about you.
Parents – respect your child’s boundaries and their wishes. Tell them how you are feeling about their attitude and give them a chance to correct it on their own. Sometimes what they’re feeling has absolutely nothing to do with you… give them the chance to work on their own maturity and progress.
CoolSpeak Parent Resources
CoolSpeak offers a variety of programs to help engaging parents make the most of the learning process. Our very own Ernesto Mejia runs a Parent’s Program / Workshop for English and Spanish speaking families. His experience as a College Dean of Students offers a fresh and real perspective. Ernesto speaks to students, parents and teachers about overcoming obstacles and never giving up on the American dream: education.
Encourage a learning mindset – for both parents and children. You’ll be pleased with the positive results and the lasting impact it will make on your relationship.
For more information about CoolSpeak, or to find out more about student-parent interaction, contact us! We can’t wait to hear about your adventures and share ours with you!
CoolSpeak – We put the Motivation back into Education. CoolSpeak is the nation’s leading youth engagement company. Since 2009, we deliver unique youth motivational speakers, programs, events, books and products designed to keep students inspired, parents involved, and teachers engaged.