How to Work with Parents to Improve Student Behavior

In education, parents play a crucial role in shaping the behavior of their children. Parents are a child’s first teachers, and their influence can last throughout their life. Therefore, it is important for educators to work with parents to improve student behavior. This article discusses strategies educators can use to engage parents and improve student behavior.

Importance of Parental Involvement

Research has shown that parental involvement is associated with positive outcomes for students, including academic achievement, social competence, and improved behavior (Epstein, 2001; Henderson & Mapp, 2002). In addition, parental involvement has been found to be a significant predictor of student behavior (Fan & Chen, 2001). Therefore, educators must work with parents to support student’s academic and social development.

Establishing Positive Relationships with Parents

To work effectively with parents, educators must establish positive relationships with them. This includes being approachable, respectful, and empathetic. Educators should also communicate regularly with parents, both formally and informally, to keep them informed about their child’s progress and any concerns. Establishing regular communication channels, such as parent-teacher conferences and newsletters, can help build trust and facilitate collaboration.

Understanding Cultural Differences

Educators must also be aware of and respectful of cultural differences when working with parents. Culturally responsive teaching involves recognizing and respecting cultural differences and incorporating them into instructional strategies (Gay, 2000). This approach can help build trust and understanding between educators and parents from diverse backgrounds.

Setting Clear Expectations

To improve student behavior, educators must set clear expectations for students and communicate them clearly to parents. This includes establishing consistent routines and expectations for behavior in the classroom and school-wide. Educators should also communicate consequences for violating these expectations, such as discipline policies and interventions, to ensure that parents and students understand the expectations and consequences.

Engaging Parents in Behavior Interventions

When a student is exhibiting challenging behavior, it is important to involve parents in the behavior intervention process. This includes collaborating with parents to develop a behavior plan and regularly updating them on progress. Involving parents in the behavior intervention process can help ensure that they understand the strategies being used and can support their child’s behavior improvement at home.

Providing Support for Parents

Finally, educators can support parents in improving their child’s behavior by providing resources and support. This includes offering workshops or training sessions on behavior management strategies, providing access to community resources, and connecting parents with other families or support groups.

Future Directions

While research has demonstrated the importance of parental involvement in promoting positive student behavior, there is still much to learn about how best to engage parents in this process. Future research should focus on identifying effective strategies for engaging parents from diverse backgrounds and on developing interventions that are tailored to meet the unique needs of each family. Additionally, efforts to promote parental involvement should be accompanied by policies and practices that support educators in this work, such as professional development and resource allocation.

In addition to promoting positive student behavior, working with parents can have a range of other benefits for schools and communities. By fostering positive relationships between educators and families, schools can create a sense of community that supports learning and academic achievement. Furthermore, engaging parents in the education process can promote a sense of ownership and investment in the school and community, leading to increased participation and support for school initiatives.


In conclusion, working with parents is essential for promoting positive student behavior and creating a positive learning environment. By establishing positive relationships, understanding cultural differences, setting clear expectations, engaging parents in behavior interventions, and providing support, educators can collaborate effectively with parents to support their child’s academic and social development. Through this partnership, educators and parents can work together to create a positive learning environment that promotes positive behavior and academic success.

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