Are you an “involved parent”?

Are you actively involved in your child’s education? And how involved are you?

As a child, my mom was a PTO/PTA member, every now and then she was a substitute teacher, she was a girl-scout leader and she also memorized every teacher I had, and every single class I enrolled in(once I got into middle school). She was what you may term a “soccer mom” or “active parent”. Often lugging us in a van, dropping us off at school, picking us up for meetings or soccer practices, cooking dinner, cleaning, and putting us to bed. For that reason, whenever my school held a fundraiser I could expect my mother to do the work for me. Essentially handing off the order sheet to my dad and telling him to “sell as many as possible” at his office. This also involved her dialing up every relative under the sun, and asking them if they wanted “cookies” or “candy bars” because I needed to sell x amount. She often pushed me to stand in front of Walgreens or Red Robins with my Girl-Scout cookie stand and sell cookies to random strangers. She made me go door to door, singing that annoying girly phrase “Would you like to buy some cookies?”. And when I fell short, she often picked up the slack.

Yes, she was very much an active parent. And maybe she was “too” active in some cases. Though it was her support, and her role as the “stereotypical” soccer mom, that really caused me to want to sell whatever product I needed to, to raise funding for my school, or for girl scouts. I’m sure if my mother wasn’t as active, I probably wouldn’t have given a “hill of beans” about raising money.

Obviously parental involvement is a HUGE factor in smooth fundraising. My mom and other mom’s who pursued roles similar to her, understand what is needed and what it takes. However, one thing I should add, is that my mother was a stay at home mom. She had the “time” to pursue this type of role, among others.But these days, with the economy the way it is, and with more two income households, it is often difficult for parents to be as involved in fundraisers, girl scouts or the like. Especially as we enter the “working mom” phenomenon, which is starting to become more and more popular among my generation and generation X. With an ever-growing force of woman working 50 hours or more, having to take care of the home, the husband, and the children–how much time is left to really focus on education, funding, and other extra-activities that children pursue? If we just take the fundraising aspect, for instance, I wonder how these “moms” do it, especially since fundraising can often be time-consuming. As a young woman, with no children, or marriage, I often wonder how today’s working parents are able to squeeze these types of school events into the calendar. What tips, if any, would you recommend to me and other young woman who one day may fulfill a similar role-in terms of being a working woman, a wife, a cook, a clean, a mom, a driver, etc. How do you achieve balance? And how do you support your child, even if you can’t be as active in their school fundraiser as you would like to be?

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