Dear Mr. Dad: My daughter is in 2nd grade at a wonderful school, and we get a lot of email asking for parent volunteers to help out in the classroom or to do cleanups, fundraising, and other stuff to help the school. Almost all of that email is directed at mothers and makes a special point of explaining how important it is for mothers to take an active role in their kids’ education. As a really involved, hands-on kind of dad, this really bugs me. I want to complain to the school, but I’d like to bring in some evidence that shows that it’s important for dads to be involved too. Can you help?
A: There’s no shortage of studies that prove that parents—meaning mom and dad—make a difference. In fact, the more parents are involved, the better the kids do. Unfortunately, far too many schools use the word “parents” as a synonym for “moms.” Ignoring dads this way—even if it’s unintentional—does more damage than simply shortchanging our children. Need proof? When dads get involved, they’re sending a clear message that they care about their kids and value education. Their children, in turn …
- Have better problem-solving skills, are more persistent and more confident, and are more interested in exploring the world around them.
- Tend to do better on standardized tests, have better math and verbal scores, and score higher on IQ- and other intelligence tests.
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