Decades’ worth of research has proven that when fathers are involved in their children’s education, the children perform better overall in multiple areas of development. This even applies when a father does not live in the same home as his children. Here’s how to accomplish that for your family.
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Have the right paperwork.
A birth certificate is usually enough, as long as there are no legalities that would prohibit your participation at school. But if you are not on the birth certificate, seek to get an affidavit of parentage or some other proof of parentage, like records of child support payments or DNA test results.
Let the school know who you are.
Depending on your relationship with Mom, you may have to reach out to the school to let the faculty and staff know you exist. I’ve seen many fathers who don’t live with their kids left off of the school application and emergency contact card.
Use the court order.
If the current custody order states you have the right to be involved in your child’s schooling, don’t hesitate to use it. And if adjustments need to be made, seek mediation with Mom first (this is usually free) and have the order updated. When that is not possible, consider filing a motion to have it changed.
Use your time wisely.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “when noncustodial fathers are highly involved with their children’s learning, the children are more likely to get A’s at all grade levels.” Time with your kids may be limited, but you can work their education in, too. Get creative! Whatever helps them to grow and spend quality time with their dad is a plus. If distance is a factor, keep encouraging your kids in their schoolwork every time you talk with them.