By Shellya Khabib Dirgantari



            The toddler years are the golden period of growth and development of a child, not only physical, but also mental and social life. One foster child can be bad. In contrast, parenting that is right for your child will affect future lives and influence their character. The education center is first and foremost for them are family. Since the onset of human civilization until now, the family is always a great influence on the development of a human child. Through the family, they will indirectly learn about character education. In this article will discuss the processes of family involvement in early childhood, things that involve families to early childhood development (especially for the development of their characters), and strategies to teach children character education through the family.


Family Involvement Processes in early childhood

Substantial research supports family involvement, and a growing body of intervention evalutions demonstrates that family involvement can be strengthened with positive results for young chidren and their school readiness. To achieve these results, it is necessary to match children’s developmental needs, parents’ attitudes and practices, and early childhood programs’ expectations and support of family involvement. The evidence base currently suggests three family involvement processes aid in creating this match and promoting healthy outcomes: parenting, home-school relationship, and responsibility for learning outcomes. (see figure 1 on page 2). Parenting refers to the attitudes, values, and practices of parents in raising young children. Home-school relationships are the formal and informal connections between the family and educational setting. Responsibility for learning is an aspect of parenting that places emphasis on activities in the home and community that promote learning skills in the young child.

These processes  do not represent all the ways in which families support their children’s education. For example, participation in home visitation programs, parent leadership, community organizing, and participation in school decision making are not represented in this review. Readers must therefore keep in mind that family involvement covers other processes beyond those described in this set of briefs.

The sources of this research brief primarily come from the filed of human development and psychology. A detailed explanation of the methods for this brief can be found in appendix 1.


Parenting In Early Childhood

Parenting is the family involvement process that includes the attitudes, values, and practices of parents in raising young children. Nurturing, warm, and responsive parent–child relationships and parental participation in child-centered activities relate to positive learning outcomes in early childhood.

Nurturing relationships provide an emotional refuge for children, fostering the development of a healthy sense of belonging, self-esteem, and well-being. When parents are sensitive and responsive to children’s emotions, children are more likely to become socially competent and show better communication skills.5 Warm, reciprocal parent–child interactions and fewer life stresses in the home facilitate children’s prosocial behavior and ability to concentrate.6

Parent participation in child-centered activities, specifically play, is also important for children’s social and emotional development.7 Children who play at home and whose parents understand the importance of play in development are likely to demonstrate prosocial and independent behavior in the classroom.8 In addition, parent participation with their children in activities such as arts and crafts is associated with children’s literacy development.9

However, parenting is embedded in social and cultural contexts that influence parenting styles. Poverty is related to access to fewer social parenting supports, which in turn is associated with maternal depression and less nurturing parenting behavior.10 Moreover, parent–child activities are culturally influenced such that activities that are characteristic of one ethnic group might not be characteristic of another.11 For example, teaching letters, words, songs, and music is more characteristic of Black non-Hispanic groups, while reading and telling stories is more typical of White non-Hispanic groups.12


Home-School Relationship

In the early childhood years, the home–school relationship refers to the formal and informal connections between families and their young children’s educational settings.15 Both participation in preschoolbased activities and regular communication between families and teachers are related to young children’s outcomes. Parent participation practices can include attending parent–teacher conferences, participating in extended class visits, and helping with class activities. Such participation is associated with child language, self-help, social, motor, adaptive, and basic school skills.16 Maintaining relationships with fathers is important too. In a study of low-income African American fathers, involvement in Head Start was associated with higher levels of children’s emotion regulation.17

The frequency of parent–teacher contact and involvement at the early childhood education site is also associated with preschool performance.18 Parents who maintain direct and regular contact with the early educational setting and experience fewer barriers to involvement have children who demonstrate positive engagement with peers, adults, and learning.19 In addition, teachers’ perceptions of positive parental attitudes and beliefs about preschool are associated with fewer behavior problems and higher language and math skills among children.20

Not only do strong home–school relationships matter for children’s outcomes during the early childhood years, but the benefits persist over time. For example, family involvement activities such as keeping in touch with a teacher, volunteering in the classroom and attending school activities were related to children’s promotion after kindergarten into the first grade.21 More frequent parental engagement in school activities is important— probably because it contributes to parents’ greater knowledge of the school program and familiarity with school experiences. Moreover, parental presence in school may model for the child the importance of schooling.

The home–school relationship buffers the negative impacts of poverty on the academic and behavioral outcomes of poor children. For example, children of low-income parents who participated in Chicago Child–Parent Centers (CPC) were more prepared for kindergarten, were less likely to be referred to special education, and later had higher rates of eighth grade reading achievement and high school completion and lower rates of grade retention. 22

Why do the benefits of home–school relationships sustain over time? One possible answer is that family involvement in early childhood sets the stage for involvement in future school settings. For instance, family involvement in the CPC program during the early years was associated with greater parent involvement in the elementary school years, which in turn was related with positive youth outcomes in high school.23 Thus, early positive patterns in a home–school relationship bridge children’s experiences over time and across educational settings.

Because of the importance of linkages across settings over time, policymakers, practitioners, and researchers recently have begun to focus their attention on the period of transition from preschool to formal schooling. Although research in this area has not focused on which transition practices relate to specific child outcomes, there is growing consensus that both early childhood settings and elementary schools have a responsibility to support families and help them to sustain their family involvement trajectories. Unfortunately, as children transition to kindergarten, teacher and family contact decreases, and there is a shift away from parent-initiated communication.24 Logistical barriers (e.g., schools generating kindergarten class lists late in the summer, no summer salary for teachers, little teacher training in this area, etc.) hinder ideal transition practices.25 Yet schools that provide more opportunities for family involvement and occasions for nontraditional contact—such as home visits, parent discussion groups, parent resource rooms, and home lending libraries—enjoy increased levels of family participation.26


Responsibility For Learning Outcomes

Responsibility for learning outcomes refers to an aspect of parenting that involves placing emphasis on educational activities that promote school success. In early childhood, this family involvement process tends to focus on how parents can support children’s language and literacy. For example, children whose parents read to them at home recognize letters of the alphabet and write their names sooner.29 Direct parent-teaching activities—such as showing children how to write words—are linked to children’s ability to identify letters and connect letters to speech sounds.30 Mothers who use more complex sentences and a wider range of different words in their everyday conversations have children with richer expressive language and higher scores on literacy-related tasks in kindergarten.31 In addition, children of parents who emphasize problem solving and curiosity for learning develop long-term individual interests and the ability to attend  to tasks for longer periods of time.32

Families, however, differ in the extent to which they expose their children to language. In their seminal research, Hart and Risley (1995) found that children from professional families show significantly greater rates of vocabulary growth than children from welfare families and demonstrate richer forms of language use and interaction. They conclude that the achievement gap begins even before preschool, in the home environments of children from birth to age 3, and they recommend that poor parents receive the parenting supports that can promote the literacy development of their children.33 In fact, responsibility for learning activities, such as reading to children, and providing complementary learning experiences, such as making library visits, going on trips to the zoo, having picnics and attending and participating in sporting events, has the power to alter the influence of poverty on children’s language and literacy development.34

Responsibility for learning might be the family involvement process that is most important for young children’s outcomes. Fantuzzo and his colleagues (2004) recently showed that practices associated with responsibility for learning (e.g., providing a place for educational activities, asking a child about school, reading to a child), above and beyond aspects of the home–school relationship, are related to children’s motivation to learn, attention, task persistence, and receptive vocabulary and to fewer conduct problems.35



Things for Family Involvement character early childhood education

The toddler years are the golden period of growth and development of a child, not only physical, but also mental and social life. One teaser, one love, and one foster child can be bad. Parenting is right for your child will influence later life. Giving teaser, love, and parenting can affect the character of the child. Sharpening is the stimulation provided. Compassion is love given by parents. Foster is adequate food, clothing, shelter, and health, including education obtained by the child.

Children’s education must be done through three environments, namely the family, schools, and organizations. Family is the center of education first and foremost. Since the onset of human civilization until now, the family is always a great influence on the development of a human child. Education is a shared responsibility between families, communities, and governments. Continuation education school as a maid in the family because education is first and foremost the child is in the family acquired.
Transitional forms of informal education / family to formal / school group should require the cooperation of parents and the school (teachers). Attitudes towards school children will be influenced by the attitudes of their parents. Therefore, the necessary confidence of parents of school (teachers) who replaces his job while in school. Parents should pay attention to their children’s school experiences with respect and appreciate his efforts and cooperation demonstrated in the way children learn at home or make their homework.

The role of a parent for a child’s education is to provide basic education, attitudes and basic skills, such as religious education, manners, manners, aesthetics, affection, security, the basics to comply with regulations, and instill habits. This is where the family has a very important role in educating early childhood characters.

Character or character or personal nature such as honesty, trust, etc. is the most fundamental of Islamic education. Dr. Thomas Lickona, who cited Martadi, asserts:

In character education, it’s clear we want our children are Able to judge what is right, care deeply about what is right, and then do what they believe to be right-even in the face of pressure form without and temptation from within. Character include: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, honesty, courage, diligence, integrity, citizenship.

Furthermore Martadi in his paper “Grand Design Character Education”, 12 April 2010, asserts that the “character” can be interpreted as the life of good behavior / benevolent, ie, behave well toward others (God Almighty, man, and the universe) and to yourself.

The operational definition of character education as stated Martadi:
“Character education is the process of guiding the participants / students to become fully human character in the dimensions of the heart, thought, body, and feeling and intention. Learners are expected to have good character maliputi honesty, responsibility, smart, clean and healthy, caring and creative. The character is expected to be a whole personality that reflects harmony and harmony of heart though, thought, body and feeling and intention “.

In connection with this character education, the three pillars of education must play a role, of course, begins with the pillars of the family, then the community and educational institutions. Family education as the basis and foundation.

In addition, the role of the family is to teach these values ​​and behavior as taught in school. In other words, there is continuity between the material being taught in schools.
Various studies show that when parents are involved in education, children will show increased achievement, followed by improvement of attitude, sosioemosional stability, discipline, as well as the aspirations of young people to learn through college, even after work and settle down.
For now, the family’s father plays a dual role. Apart from being the economic backbone of the family, is also expected to play an active role in parenting. This is a consequence of what has been done by the mother, that is a career woman, so the chance, attention, and treatment of the child is reduced.


Educating Character Strategy through the Early Childhood Family
There are some strategies to educate the character of early childhood through family, among others:

1. Exemplary adults in the household Strategy,
Noble qualities such as honesty, trust, and fatanah tablig continue exemplified in everyday life with children. A variety of praiseworthy traits penumbuhannya should start early since the start of the household or family. For that family education plays an important role. The nature of trust, or trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, honesty, courage, openness, caring, integrity, diligence and statesmanship will grow and thrive when planted since childhood.

2. Strategy habituation,
Habituation good behavior and etiquette manners is the most important part of the family. Therefore, every member of the family, especially the adult should be familiar with a positive attitude. Awards to be given an honest child. Children who are honest despite scoring lower school is more valuable than children who lie even higher value. The courage to be honest need to habituation.

3. Srategi teaching,
That gives clues to a child about something good that must be lived and practiced in everyday behavior, and show something that is not good or not right that should be shunned. Information and advice needs to be given to the child continuously.

The process of family involvement is not only likely to focus on how parents can support the language and literacy of children. But it is also very supportive in character education early childhood. Character education needs to be taught from an early age, especially starting from the family, because at this time that all the skills children are developing. And the family is considered as the first environment in which they live. All family members must work together to realize the implementation of character education is well. It should always be pointed out, teaching, and getting a good deed.



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