Parents are the first teacher of children, they’re not only have to takecare children’s daily life, but also have to bear the responsibility of their earlierchildhood education and future adaptation of learning. Furthermore, parents involvethe whole process of children’s development. Therefore, the parentalinvolvement should not be ignored in children’s entire educationalhistory. In addition, “Parental involvement isbelieved to be an important strategy in the advancement of the quality ofeducation. According to Althoff (2010)parent involvement refers to the amount of participant a parent has when itcomes to schooling and her child’s life.” When children started going to kindergarten, parent’s involvement canincrease the resources used by schools and provide various suggestions and knowledgesto complement each other, Also, parents can understand the need of developmentfor different age group of children through proactive participating school’sactivities so as to enhance the communication opportunities between parents andchildren.
Thus, parents can create a balance development for children throughunderstanding the learning ability of their children. In contrast, parentalinvolvement can reduce the impact on discontinuing of education after childrenreturned from school as parents can design some home activities for them tohave continue learning at home.According to Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological System theory proposes that children’s growth and development is being affected bytheir families as well as school. School is also one of the closest Microsystemssurrounding children.
Parents, schools and children are very closely relatedand each holding different role which influence on children’s values ??andattitudes toward others. For the early childhood education, each system affectsthe whole process of children’s education in various degrees. In Microsystem,family has an immediate relationship with children, so that parentalinvolvement in parenting style will also affect the process of children’seducation on different levels.
For example, if parents often complain and blame,then this kind of negative atmosphere has affected children’s physical andpsychological development virtually. The Mesosystem theory describe that familyand school cooperation is indispensable, it also reflects the importance of parents’participation and interaction between parent-school cooperation in theeducation of children. According to Epstein(2002)identified six types of effective family and school involvement, if parents canparticipate in children’s school education actively, then this is not only can helpthe development of children, but also can improve the parenting skills. First, schoolarranges a series of parental education seminars upon different grades of childrenand the needs of their parents regularly and invites some experts to share theirchildhood education experiences. The purpose is to enhance parents’ knowledgeand skills in parenting and helping parents to grasp their role in the familyin order to establish a good family environment. For example, the “Have adate with my father” seminar promote the role of positive father, it triesto change the traditional status of father’s role and encourages fathers to proactivelyparticipate in the process of children’s development as fathers’ involvement havea significant influence on developing a happy and healthy life for children.
Second,parents should focus on communication with schools so that they can understand children’ssituation or provide opinions through Parents’ Day, School Open Days, studenthandbook and other communication channels. For example, when a teacher callsthe parents to know how is the behavior of the children at home, parents shouldgive positive and proactive response, this can enhance the mutual understandingand cooperation to help the development of children. Meanwhile, parents canalso understand their children’s need and ability through such kind ofcommunication. Third, parents participate in volunteer work at children’s school.For example, parents volunteer to create teaching aids to share the work ofschool. By participating in school duties, parents can clearly understand theschool’s philosophy and cooperate with the development of school to achieve theeffectiveness of home-school cooperation. In addition, parents can understandtheir children’s school life through volunteer work, this can increase interactionand communication between parents and children, it can also help the childrento develop self-confidence and sense of accomplishment. Forth, parents involve children’slearning process.
For example, the parent-children reading plan, children go tothe library to borrow books regularly, so that the parents can understand theirinterests and develop a continuing study through home reading, this not only canhelp children to develop good reading habits, but also can help children to developtheir ability on self-thinking and the interest on exploring extra knowledge. Inaddition, Exosystem pointed out that mass media is one of the indirect factors affectingchildren’s development. As technology progresses, smart phone has become partof children’s lives, some parents would rather give the smart phone to childrenthan communicate with them, however they do not aware the content of theprogram whether is suitable for the children or not. Although the contentshould be good for children, there still have some pop up advertisement willescape from guidance instruction that might spread incorrect values which leadingchildren to learn inappropriate behavior as a result of the interpersonal relationshipproblems. For example, some of the television program contains violent and sex,if parents cannot give guidance to the children at once, then there is chancefor children to learn the behavior because they are not able to judge oridentify if it is good or not. Therefore, parents should actively participatein school programs which teaching parents on how to reduce the usage ofelectronic products of children, so that parents can increase the time on parent-childgames to replace television and smart phone time at home so as to promote thehealthy development of children and parent-child relationship.
Althoughthe development of children will be affected by different factors, environments,relationships and layers upon Bronfenbrenner’stheory,parental involvement still plays the most important role on influencing children’s growth and education. Families, schoolsand children have a direct interaction and relationship. Parents orschools should cooperate and respect to each other to enhance the mutual developmenton children’s education. Parents can improve parenting skills through parentalinvolvement so as to promote children’s physical and mental integrity. The perspectiveof Bronfenbrenner’s theory describes that a positive correlation betweenparents’ participation and school effectiveness showing that more parentsparticipation in school education has improved school effectiveness. As aresult, parents can build up a balance of life for children and let them growup healthy and happily.