Are parents smothering their high school students?


York University expert available to provide back-to-school parenting tips

 TORONTO, August 21, 2019 – Parents of children headed to high school often struggle with the dilemma of how much to let go.

For parents wondering if they should still discuss homework assignments with their high schoolers, still encourage them to exercise good study habits and still show an interest in their development and learning, the answer is yes, according to John Ippolito, an associate professor in the Faculty of Education.

He says research suggests that parental involvement decreases and the level of dialogue drops off after elementary school, often to the detriment of both academic achievement and relationships within the family.

Ippolito has conducted extensive school-based research on the transition from elementary school to high school. His research finds that the best thing parents can do with their high-school-age children is to keep their lines of communication with each other open. He advises parents to maintain an open dialogue about the experience of high school, both the opportunities and the challenges. Currently, Ippolito develops programs in GTA-based public elementary schools to foster dialogue between families and schools and within families themselves.

He can share back-to-school tips for parents of high school students, including:

  • How to be involved in their children’s school to improve their chances of academic success
  • The best ways to have meaningful dialogues between families and schools
  • How to bring marginalized parents into their kids’ schooling
  • Why it is important to consider linguistic, cultural and racial diversity when working on engagement and partnerships between families and schools

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York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media Contact: Vanessa Thompson, York University Media Relations, 647-654-9452,