How much you earn is less important than how much you know when
it comes to boosting kids' brain power. And it's never too late-new
studies have found that parents who return to school have kids who
do better in school and are more successful in life.
These findings are surprising because it was always assumed that
income had the most influence on children's success, says Pamela
Davis-Kean, director of the Center for the Analysis of Pathways
from Childhood to Adulthood at the University of Michigan.
While researchers can't say exactly why kids do better when
parents are better educated, it could be these parents read more to
their kids, show warmth and role model positive behavior,
Davis-Kean says. "And when you go back to school, your home may
become more structured, and we know that more structured time is
beneficial to kids."
The strongest findings were for parents who had only a high
school degree and returned to school. "Those with the lowest
education have the most impact on their kids' outcomes by getting
Ultimately a parent's level of education generally means a
higher income, which also has an impact on children's well-being.
"If you want to sustain the ability to buy a house, to have
something for your family, education is going to be the avenue for
that," Davis-Kean says.
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