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Get a PTA or Volunteer Job at Your Kids’ School

You have heard it said time and time again, fathers that are involved in their children’s school make a positive impact on their kids’ grades, behavior, and overall attitude towards education and learning.  A study based on the data from 17,000 students from Kindergarten through High School, 1996 National Household Education Survey (http://nces.ed.gov/nhes), found fathers that were involved in: 1) general school meetings, 2) parent-teacher conferences, 3) special school events, and 4) school volunteerism had major impacts on their children’s lives.  Here were some of the findings (emphasis mine):

Nuclear Families or Father Custodial Households

  • Students in two-parent families were 43 percent more likely to get mostly A’s if their fathers were highly involved in their schools.
  • Children of highly-involved resident fathers were 55 percent more likely to enjoy school than children of uninvolved fathers.
  • Students in middle school and high school were 88 percent more likely to participate in extracurricular activities if their resident fathers were highly involved in the school.
  • Students whose resident fathers were highly involved in their schools were slightly less likely to repeat a grade than other students.

Non-Custodial Father Households

  • Students in middle and high school whose fathers did not live in the home were 43 percent more likely to get mostly A’s if their fathers participated in even one in-school activity.
  • Children whose fathers did not live in the home but were involved in school activities were more likely to enjoy school than children whose non-resident fathers had only out-of-school contact with them.
  • Students whose non-resident fathers were involved in their schools were more likely to participate in extracurricular activities.
  • Students were 39 percent less likely to repeat a grade and 50 percent less likely to be suspended or expelled if their non-resident fathers participated in even one in-school activity.

What does all this data tell us?  Super School Dads have a metamorphic effect on their kids whether they primarily live with their children or not.  Read that last line again and review the statistics!  Single Dad, you CAN have a major impact in the lives of your kids by getting involved, participating in school activities, and volunteering.  Just one activity makes all the difference in the world to your kids.  So what does a Super School Dad look like?  I am glad you asked! 

Here are some Activities Super School Dads can be Found Doing:

  • Join your child’s PTA (Parent Teacher Association) or equivalent.
  • Join your child’s school reading program.
  • Volunteer in your child’s school library.
  • Go to your child’s school sponsored functions (Plays, Field Day, Class Parties, grade level activities).
  • Chaperone on a class field trip.
  • Help out in book fairs and fundraisers.
  • Go have lunch with your child at school.
  • Participate in your child’s school sporting events.
  • Become or assist your child’s homeroom representative.
  • Help your children with classroom projects and of course, their usual homework.
  • Read to your children and have them read to you.

I do some of the above; as well as, spend one hour a week changing the school’s marquee.  Over the years, I have gotten to know all the teachers in the building, the principal and the entire office staff.  I am a regular fixture in my daughter’s school.  Remember just one activity can make a difference in your kid’s lives.  What are you doing to become a “Super School Dad”?

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How have you seen the “dad factor” affect your kids positively? Fathers, what other activities could you participate in that are not listed in this article?

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Fred Campos, Top Geek, blogs about everything from House of Cards to Subway. In addition to blogging, he is a public speaker and humorist in child custody, social media, web development and parenting. He is married to one @SuperParentMom, and raising three world changers. For more details on his custody course visit, www.DaddyGotCustody.com/course. Like this post? Make sure you subscribe to this blog.

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{ 4 comments… add one }

Join in the Conversation

  • Dr. Leah@ www.singlemommyhood.com July 9, 2009, 10:31 pm

    This is a terrific site.

    I love your point that following up on just one of those excellent suggestions will make a world of difference. I’ve heard kids tell teachers that “Dad doesn’t care” (nonsense!) about missing homework, for example. If Dad has made a point of participating at school, teachers will know differently. And keep you posted about things that matter to your child’s success.

    Reply
  • Talibah July 22, 2009, 2:45 pm

    I looooove this post. My son’s school just started a Dads Club at the end of last year to give them another opportunity to spend special time with the kids for an hour before the school day starts once a month.

    Addiitonally, my co-parent and I both find ways to participate and be there for our son. In addition to helping our son know that he matters, Dr. Leah’s right, his teacher also knows that we’re both in this and on the same page. His teacher last year made it a point to call both of us individually when anything came up. That’s huge!

    Great post. Great recommendations!

    Reply
  • FullCustodyDad July 22, 2009, 4:04 pm

    Talibah,

    that is great, I too have found teachers understand the entire blended family gig really well. I have seen teachers have separate meetings, make duplicate copies of notes, and even report cards.

    Dr. Leah thanks for your comments as well. Let’s keep encouraging dads to stay involved.

    Fred / FullCustodyDad

    Reply