The primary objective of creating reciprocal relationships is mutual appreciation and respect for the common goal of providing adequate resources and experiences to children. The interviews I conducted have increased my knowledge of creating reciprocal relationships with families and communities. The community requires parents and families to support schools in planning and implementing programs for the benefit of their children (Battista, 2018).
Additionally, they are also required to provide insight into the family’s diverse backgrounds that schools can use to help children develop. The community and family work together to fulfill each other’s needs. The challenges faced by families in raising children can be overcome by reciprocal relationships between the families and the community.
In the first interview, I talked to Mary, a young mother, concerning her married life. She had a strained parent-child relationship, which could affect her child’s development. I learned that by creating reciprocal relationships with the community, such parents could be helped to raise their children well. Such families can significantly benefit from community parent education workshops on effective parenting styles. As a teacher, it is essential to build reciprocal relationships with such parents and the community to sensitize them on how well they can take care of their young children. Young parents can be introduced to the community by giving them highlights about community events, resources, and public speaking seminars that are relevant to them. In effect, creating reciprocal relationships will connect them with community services that can help them effectively raise their children.
The second interview was with Fred, a single father with a five-year-old son. His interest in his son’s development is quite remarkable but requires a lot of time and devotion. Family or parent involvement in a child’s development and education leads to a mutually beneficial outcome. The practice of family or parent involvement enhances the growth of reciprocal relationships between children and parents, among children, and between their families and teachers. Schools also need to embrace the concept of family involvement to learn from diverse families, which can result in greater tolerance because of attaching value to diverse backgrounds. Home-school relationships need to be embraced to understand the importance of family or parent involvement. Families need to involve with schools and communities to enhance the development and health of their children. Fred can benefit from early childhood organizations because they can provide experiences to developmentally appropriate children, which will help him overcome the challenges he is facing with his son. Creating reciprocal relationships with early childhood organizations is enriching and interdependent (NAEYC, 2022). His relationship with the organization should be mutual to fulfill the common goal of improving his son’s experiences.
The interview with Anna, a mother to an 11-year-old, indicates the challenges faced by parents of students in helping them make good decisions and become independent. It enables the child to become much more robust and confident to make decisions. Family background has a significant influence on a child’s educational experience, especially concerning the involvement of parents in schooling. However, parents’ behavior can significantly influence the development of a school-going child both socially and mentally. Children are most likely to develop into mature, independent adults when their parents are fully involved in their education by forming reciprocal relationships with the school and community (Gestwoicki, 2016). The knowledge that I achieved from the interviews with parents taught me that the children of parents who have a strong reciprocal relationship with the community tend to perform better at school, among other social benefits. These children can benefit from the combined efforts of their parents and the community in making their experiences better. These efforts help them to develop mentally, socially, and psychologically.
Similarly, parents creating reciprocal relationships with the community tend to help their children think and learn differently. It helps parents, students, and the community to know each other fully, leading to students’ overall development.
The interviews I conducted have increased my knowledge of creating reciprocal relationships with the community by helping me know that the development of a child requires more than the parent’s involvement. The parent may lack the knowledge of how they can effectively raise their children. This knowledge can be found within the community via various schools or early childhood organizations. Therefore, teachers and parents must create reciprocal relationships with common goals which are mutually beneficial to both parties. The creation of such relationships fosters community connections that are important for the child’s overall development. It helps create a community of learners who are more aware of their environment.
Battista, L. (2018). Building Reciprocal Relationships with Communities. NAEYC.
Gestwoicki, C. (2016). Home, school, and community relations. Cengage Learning.
NAEYC. (2022). DAP: Engaging in Reciprocal Partnerships with Families and Fostering Community Connections.