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Why Get Involved?

Parents frequently ask us what they can do to prevent their tween from getting into trouble. Relationship-building goes a long way toward this goal. There are things you can do to encourage a sense of closeness and unity and build strong relationships and values with your child.

One factor is school success.

Although the school is primarily responsible for your tween's academic learning, you need to be willing to work with the school to make this happen.

As a parent, you can do this in various ways:

  1. Take an active interest in your child's education. This means attending parent-teacher conferences, reviewing the papers your child brings home each day, and ensuring that your child is working to his or her full potential.
  2. Show support for your child's teachers. Teaching is a difficult job under the best of circumstances. If a teacher calls to report on your child's behavior, take the report seriously. Teachers are not going to take the time to call unless they truly feel it is important. If your child has engaged in inappropriate behavior, discipline him or her. Let your child know that your expectations for his or her behavior in school are the same as the teacher's. If you do disagree with a teacher, discuss your concerns in private, never in front of your child.
  3. Be willing to let the school do its job. Every day there is a story in the newspaper about a parent somewhere who is suing a school district because a child couldn't have green hair or wear a jacket with swastikas painted all over it in school. These frivolous lawsuits don't help children. All they do is make children feel empowered with a sense of "I don't have to follow the rules!" Obviously, it's a different story if your child is seriously harmed or treated unfairly. But for the most part, schools try to provide a safe environment for all students, and they need your support to do so.
  4. Be active in your child's school. There are many ways to become involved. If you are not sure how to get involved, stop at the school office and ask what you can do. Often, parents are anxious to work with their children's schools during the early years, but tend to lose interest as their children get older. Studies also have shown that tweens are much more likely to succeed if their parents take an active interest in how they are doing in school.