By Dickson Tumuramye
Parental involvement is the level of participation that a parent has in the child’s life. It is a process that prepares your child for independence. The good start you give your children from nurturing, guidance, security to mentorship is good enough if your children are part of the whole process. 

We all know that some parents involve their children in homes and others just think that children should be at a receiving end. If a child asks for something and the parent provides, that is all. But few of us take time to find out why a child needs such things. As a result, children who have care-free parents end up taking advantage and misuse the opportunity.

Parents who involve their children in parenting process create strong emotional, intelligent, spiritual and social development. There is no emotional distance between children and parents because; together they know what is happening in their family. It is easier for parents to also get directly involved in their children’s lives, develop affection, love and support. 

There is a lot of responsiveness from the two parties in matters concerning the family affairs. The child outcomes are greater than for children who merely receive instructions. This will guide them to dictate the path that their lives take in adulthood development.

Involving your children will need you to always have special issues that you can share together about their goals, future plans, academic performance, family plans among others. They can be involved in day-to-day activities at home, learn the importance to be part of whatever is done all the time. It is a good time to answer whatever questions are bothering them especially the adolescents.

Involving children in decision making is very crucial with your guidance, support and assistance. Research done indicates that when children make a good decision, they can gain the greatest amount of satisfaction and fulfillment because they chose it. When they make bad decisions, they may suffer for it, but they can learn from the experience and make better decisions in the future.

Effective communication is another aspect that the two parties have to embrace. Most children are used to following what their parents tell them. The language they understand is full of dos and don’ts whether communication is clear or not. Yet the best way of good parenting should involve listening and paying attention to each other’s communication.

A parent and a child would do better if there are always clear guidelines, proper ways of delivering information, making sure each understands. This is also determined by the parenting styles. Authoritarian parents may find it hard.

It also takes your keen time to ensure that children have ample time of interaction with you as a parent. Most parents are ever available at home but practically absent in their parenting responsibility.

They don’t pay attention to their children and situate their interests in other priorities other than children. Yet most of the time, they claim to be working for children and investing for them but hardly do they invest time in them. Whether you provide whatever they want, it does not matter. Your full time presence in their lives is more vital.

Fun time with your children stirs up their love for you. 
By the way even in times of challenges, which possibly may call for separation and the worst “divorce”, you will find it hard to do so because you would wonder what you will tell your children when they have been involved in all that is going on in your family, except your (couple’s) misunderstandings.

The writer is a child advocate and parenting