In an ongoing series in this column, we highlight one of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets that have a powerful positive impact on young people’s growth. Asset #6 is Parent Involvement in Schooling.

Search Institute’s research shows that young people are more likely to grow up healthy, caring and responsible when their parents are involved in their education. When children start kindergarten, most parents are quite involved. They attend conferences, school activities, and ask about their kids’ projects and assignments. As kids grow older, parent involvement drops dramatically, despite the fact that the middle and high school years can in many ways be the most difficult for students.

Parents don’t have to go to school every day or even volunteer monthly, but it’s important to know what’s going on with their children’s education. Simply checking in with your kids to see how things are going with school can make a big difference. Show an interest by asking your kids about their current assignments and projects. (It’s much more effective and meaningful to ask your kids directly than to check their PowerSchool account.)

It’s also helpful to communicate regularly with teachers, not to question the teachers or ask for a change in a child’s grade, but to establish a relationship and a communication channel. Attend parent-teacher conferences when you can or schedule a more convenient time, if needed. Consider volunteering in small ways, such as speaking on career day or setting up for a classroom party.Your involvement in your children’s education has a direct impact on their future success. Consider how you can start making a difference today.

The full list of developmental assets is available online at searchinstitute.com and more information about RPC is available at coalition@ridgefieldct.org. Visit our website, ridgefieldpreventioncouncil.org, or Facebook, facebook.com/ridgefieldpreventioncouncil.