Many of us have lived or still live with our parents who, undoubtedly, have affected us, our lives and possibly, the shaping of the people we have become. It, thus, is quite common for us to hear a statement like “I hate my parents, they’re so interfering”. But the question that lingers - to me at least- is to what extent should parents be involved in their children’s lives in the name of family? Family is an abstract concept that could be interpreted in many various forms. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, Family is “a group of individuals living under one roof” “of common ancestry” and of “an identifiable strain” “united by certain convictions or a common affiliation”. But family may be to many much more than that. It is an invisible bond attaching people together, interweaving their lives and creating family strengths which is defined by ECI Standards Manual for Contracted Programs Glossary as “characteristics that family members identify as contributing to the growth and development of the child and family. Among the areas of family life that many families identify as strengths are coping strategies, nurturing relationships, communication, religious or personal beliefs, family competence, and family/community interconnectedness”.
Parents who work to promote these family strengths benefit their children as “Research studies consistently reveal that high student achievement and self-esteem are closely related to positive parental participation in education” states Joyce Epstein of Johns Hopkins University. Added to such, risky behavior is avoided and social competency is found. This seems to be true for children of a young age and for adolescents as well. Consistent evidence illuminates that this held even after taking into account other social and demographic factors, such as family structure, race/ethnicity, and parental educational level. (Moore, Whitney, Kinukawa 2009).
Cited: Epstein, Joyce. “Epstein 's Six Types of Parent Involvement”. 2 Dec. 2009 <http://parent.sdsu.edu/aboutpi.htm>. “Family." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009. Merriam-Webster Online. 2 Dec.2009 <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/family> “Helicopter Parent”. 21 Nov. 2009. 6 Dec. 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicopter_parent>. Martindale, Gayla. “Parental Involvement: How Much is Too Much?” . 5 Dec. 2009 <http://www.stateuniversity.com/blog/permalink/Parental-Involvement.html>. Rich, Dorothy. “Too Much Parent Involvement? Can It Be?” 1 April 2009. 3 Dec. 2009 <http://teachers.net/gazette/APR09/rich/>.