Clara Benacerraf
Clara Benacerraf
18 May, 2021

How Parents Can Foster a Sense of Belonging at School

ICS Pri teacher and student hugging
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We all need to feel understood, recognized, and affirmed by our friends, family members, and romantic partners. We all need to give and receive affection. We all need to find our tribe. In other words, we all need to feel that we belong.
Emily Esfahani-Smith
Author and Clinical Psychologist
How Parents Can Foster a Sense of Belonging at School What can you do as a parent to foster a feeling of belonging at school? From sharing a positive vision about education to getting involved in lessons and homework, our Head of Counselling gives us plenty of ideas.

According to the Doctor of Educational Psychology Jérôme St-Armand, the sense of belonging that students feel in school and extracurricular activities positively influences their academic development, which in turn leads to academic success.

But can we really define what a sense of belonging is? Researchers have broken this concept into four parts in order to understand better how it works in an academic setting:

  1. The student feels a positive emotion and is proud to attend school.
  2. The student maintains good social relationships with educational staff, who offer encouragement, support and respect.
  3. The student is actively involved in the school activities offered by his or her teachers, as well as in extracurricular activities.
  4. The student perceives and maintains harmonious social relationships with his or her classmates, as well as with educational staff. The student conveys the values ​​and standards of the school. In addition, the student shares substantially the same needs and desires as the other members of the group.

Now that we have a better understanding of what a sense of belonging is, the question then becomes What can you do as a parent to foster a feeling of belonging?

To begin with, it is important to show that you have a certain interest in your child's learning and in the school environment, whether for the subjects he or she prefers, the school activities in which he or she participates, those for which he or she has more difficulties as well as the classmates who have become his or her friends.

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Here is a list of suggestions to improve your child's sense of belonging:

  • Share a positive vision about education with your child.
  • Get involved in lessons and homework.
  • Remain available for extracurricular activities or get involved in school committees.
  • Find out about schedule changes, updates, events, performances, awards, policies, news, articles, and community happenings. For example, newsletters are a good way to learn about the specifics of our school.

A sense of belonging is paramount in your child’s development. By taking some of the actions suggested in this article, you can help them in this process. In this way, you will promote your child’s development and improve their chances of achieving academic success.