Monday, June 20, 2011

Teens who Feel Responsible to Parents Fare Better in School

In a fascinating new study, researchers find that teens who feel a sense of responsibility toward their parents tend to do better in school. Interesting, huh? I know what you’re thinking – this website is about preschoolers. But preschoolers grow up to be teenagers. And parents are always concerned about how to help their children succeed in school. So I thought this was relevant J

The study followed children from 7th to 9th grade in both the United States and China and asked kids questions like, ‘How much time do you feel you need to spend with your parents?’ and ‘Do you try to do well in school in part to please your parents?’ When students were in 7th grade, both American and Chinese students felt equal respect and responsibility toward their parents, but something interesting happened as they got older: American teenagers began to feel less responsible to their parents. This was not true, however, for Chinese teenagers. This is likely a difference between cultures.

But here’s where it gets really interesting. For both American and Chinese teens, those who felt a high sense of respect toward and responsibility to their parents got better grades and showed better attitudes for learning. Why? Well, we don’t know for sure, but it may have something to do with those teens and parents maintaining a close relationship with each other. One of the authors of the study suggests the importance of parents being involved in teens’ lives, which was also linked with teens’ feelings of responsibility toward their parents.

So what can you do with your preschooler? Start now! If your child is in preschool, be involved. Celebrate successes, but don’t put too much emphasis on perfection. Let your child know that family time is important- set aside one day per week for time for just family, and stay committed to that. Continue these traditions throughout your child’s school years.


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