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Bringing PRIDE to Parent Engagement

By Connie K. Grier, M.Ed.


Parental Engagement is not isolated to either the school or home sphere. It is an ongoing, daily event that must occur in both sectors. When increasing the level of parental engagement, remembering the following has the potential to positively enhance both home based and school based engagement levels:

Parental Engagement is Cyclical

One day will not necessarily look like another day in terms of the intensity of the engagement; however engagement must take place on some level every day.  Consider the nurturing required when growing a beautiful rose garden as an example. The gardener spends maybe one or two days a year in the yard dropping the seeds and tiling the soil that produces those beautiful buds; however those seeds must be watered, receive adequate sunlight, and be fed through nourishing soil daily.

Effective Parental Engagement is not Always Pleasant

It will require that the tough decisions be made by parents that are in the best interest of the child.  This does not translate to "the decisions that are most liked by the child".  As parents, friendship with our children is a dish best served in the latter adult years, if ever at all.  While parents are partially responsible for the happiness that children experience, serious decisions should not be made based on their popularity.  Some days you will want to hug your children to death because you are so proud; others you will want to exile them to Siberia because you are so angry.  This is also the same at the school level.  Some days you will hold your child's teacher up as a bastion of the community...other days you may want to consign them to the Bastille. As parents, we always have the obligation to remain engaged with our children's teachers and school. Giving up on our children is not an option.

Are We Engaging with PRIDE?

In order to ensure that we as parents are doing our best for our children, we need to assess our engagement constantly and ask ourselves, are we engaging with PRIDE?  

P  Persistence:

Are we interacting with our children and our children's schools on a consistent basis?  Are we checking in and having vital conversations?  Are we holding both our children and our schools to a rational level of accountability?

R  Respect:

In our interactions, are we mindful to speak and act with our children and schools the way we would want to be spoken to? Are we refraining from personal attacks and sticking to the issues at hand? Are we being active listeners as opposed to soliloquists?

I  Information: 

Are we sure to gather information from all entities before launching into attack mode?  Are we allowing our children and our schools to express themselves in a respectful manner?  Are we doing are own research when warranted, to ensure that we have a clear understanding of the issue?

D  Discernment: 

Are we picking our battles and not making everything an urgent matter?  Are we allowing our children to handle some issues on their own BEFORE jumping in to save the day? Are we careful when deciding what our final answer will be? 

E  Enriching: 

Are the communication methods, reactions, behaviors, and decisions that we utilize bringing something to the table, or are we just making noise?

Let's bring PRIDE to Parental Engagement!

Posted on March 15, 2012 by Connie K. Grier, M.Ed.

Connie Grier is an educator, parent, and parent advocate. She has over twenty years experience in the Philadelphia school district and is the founder of a non-profit, The RESPECT Alliance, an organization devoted to respectfully empowering parents so that positive, effective and collaborative relationships are maintained between the home and school settings. Follow her on Twitter 

@2012 Connie K. Grier. All rights reserved. Please contact for permission to reprint. 

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Tags: 2-way communication, *Parent Engagement at Home , *School-Family Partnership, Building trust & respect, Communicating, Parents as teachers, Positive Discipline

Posted March 15, 2012 by michelle goldsborough
This article is very informative. Great job Connie


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