Instead of helping kids with their homework, researchers have found that the most effective way for parents to foster academic achievement in kids is to:

  1. Highlight education's value and utility for our kids by linking their schoolwork to current events
  2. Help them create academic and career goals
  3. Discuss learning strategies with them

Middle school adolescents achieve more when their parents' help gives them a feeling of independence, rather than just making them feel pressured to succeed. This is in-line with other research on helping kids develop self-discipline.

To learn more about the study cited here, read this Greater Good research brief.

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What IS this posting, you ask? It is a new Half Full feature! Throughout this fall we are going to be expanding Half Full by adding new types of content. "The Takeaway" will give you a one minute what-we-parents-should-do response to research that is posted on the Greater Good Magazine blog. We can't wait to hear what you think!

© 2009 Christine Carter, Ph.D.

Selected reference:

Nancy E. Hill and Diana F. Tyson. "Parental Involvement in Middle School: A Meta-Analytic Assessment of the Strategies That Promote Achievement." Developmental Psychology 45, No. 3 (2009): 740–763.

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