Parents As Teachers, Part 1

Parents as teachers

You have probably heard over and over that parents are the the primary teachers of children. Well it’s true; but not quite in the way you might be thinking.

By Brian Barron

Have you ever caught yourself saying the same exact thing your parents did? Even if you were determined not to behave as they did? For better or worse (just like the marriage vow) kids model the behaviour of parents and adopt their values system.

So when parents ask me how they can help their children succeed in school I tell them about the three keys to success:

  • Number one is a concerned parent.
  • Number two is attendance.
  • Number three is realistic expectations.

A concerned parent is interested in what happened in school today. He asks if there is homework. She provides a quiet place for school work. He sits with his child, has a coffee and reads while she completes her homework. She sets a regular time for homework. He encourages neat writing in all his homework. She calls the teacher with concerns before they blossom into problem. He goes to parent nights.

Children with perfect attendance rarely experience failure at school. Serious illness aside, everyday attendance is crucial. This means showing up everyday on time. Sure, many days are “boring” and routine; but some days are magical and inspirational. You can’t be inspired if you’re not there. A concerned parent will make sure his child goes to school if at all able and she will find out what the problem is if her child doesn’t like to go.

Realistic expectations on the part of the concerned parent is the third and most elusive key. Not every child is going to be a doctor, lawyer or rocket scientist. If you do not read every day, don’t expect your student to. If you love hockey, chances are your child will, too. If you are an excellent carpenter or plumber, maybe your daughter will be too. The concerned parent knows his child. She loves her child for who the child is not what she wants her to be. He encourages her to develop her strengths and tolerates her weaknesses. She does not force him to be an engineer if he is an artist.

I have taught for 36 years. I have taught across the spectrum from kindergarten to senior high school. I have taught Math, English, Science, Drama, Physical Education, History, and Geography. However, when anybody asked me what I taught, my answer was always the same. I taught children.

I hope you enjoyed this introduction to PARENTS AS TEACHERS. I welcome your comments or questions.



Brian Barron is a retired teacher/administrator. He taught for 36 years before retiring to take care of his grandchildren. When not with the kids he is still teaching occasionally and is deeply involved in Mad Science (teaching Science wonder to young children). His career spanned 15 years in the elementary system and 21 in secondary. He has two sons, and a daughter-in-law who are all teachers.

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I founded Mums 'n Chums in 2009 after realizing that the area I live in was drastically underserviced as compared to surrounding areas for support and activities for growing families. Mums 'n Chums grew popular very quickly and I have been dedicated to nurturing that growth through frequent networking, social media engagement and in person meetups. By the end of its first year, Mums 'n Chums had close to 500 members and was receiving regular inquiries from fans outside of its service area, asking when we would be expanding to serve them as well. After much careful research and polling, I expanded the site in May of 2011 to cover the entire North end of the GTA (from Cambridge to Markham), areas I believe are still receiving far less attention than they deserve from other sites and family services. We also changed the focus from small scale local mom and tot meetups to more of an informative purpose, closing down our forum and adding several talented contributors to the blog. We do still offer several large scale family events per year, such as our popular Birthday Bash events and our Holiday Bash in December. Our contests have also become a member favourite, and we strive to offer amazing prizes from trusted brands like Babies R Us, La Roche Posay, Johnson's Baby and many more. In March of 2016, after months of work spent migrating all of the site's content to a new platform, Mums 'n Chums re-launched with its fresh, new look. The changes and expansion have proven a great success and we're still getting inquiries from several other cities within the Greater Toronto Area, whom we have decided to serve as well. I have built this site and its' reputation carefully and look forward to continuing its growth!