23 March 2009

Parents feel excluded by children

I was just reading this article on the BBC News website - Parents feel excluded by children and I thought I'd share...

Becta - the government's educational technology agency, have conducted a survey which suggests children do not like to be "hassled" by parental inquiries about their day and that many parents feel "excluded" by their children's reluctance to tell them anything about their time spent at school.

It found that 82% of parents wished they had more information about their children's school life.
Only 16% of children volunteered information about their day at school. The involvement of parents has been highlighted as an important element of children's achievement at school. But the survey suggests that parents struggle to find out how they might be able to help.

The technology agency asked television psychologist and government adviser Tanya Byron to investigate this communication gap. "Many parents anxiously question their kids at the end of the school day and this creates tension, conflict and a lack of essential communication," said Professor Byron. She suggests that there should be better links between schools, parents and children. The survey of 1,000 children aged 11 to 14 and their parents found that youngsters were reluctant to share their experiences with their families. More than a third of young people said they found it difficult to speak to their parents about school - and more than two in five parents found it hard to "extract information" about school from their children.

As a technology agency, Becta suggests that school websites and online resources for homework can help to make parent "feel much more a part of their child's learning". It says that when parents are able to see what their children are learning they are more confident in talking about school work - both with the children and teachers. Parents can also use e-mail to keep in touch with teachers, says the technology agency, and schools can alert parents of any attendance problems.

There is also a video clip of Tanya talking on BBC Breakfast with some tips on how to get your child to share about their day. The full report with more tips can be read here.

Do you feel you have enough information about your child's day? How does your child's school share the information with you? Let us know!

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