0 Mother working on her online degree at table with daughter.

Three Ways Finishing Your Degree Impacts Your Children

June 2, 2021

As an enrollment advisor, I have the privilege to hear the stories of professionals looking to go back to college on a regular basis. Often, the reasons for wanting to finish their degree are ambitious and exciting, but it’s the parents who do this for their children who I find most inspiring. What a privilege it was to watch one of our adult students walk across the graduation stage with her daughter in May as they both earned their Houghton degrees! 

This is more than just an anecdote. Research shows that you can make a significant difference in the lives of your children by finishing your degree. Here are three of the most significant: 

1) When you are happy, your children are happy

In her book, Happy Parents, Happy Kids, author Ann Douglas outlines a plan for learning to lose guilt, embrace joy, and thrive along with your children. One major way parents can actively pursue caring for themselves and their children is to invest in something that they value and that will help them move forward toward their goals in life. When we achieve a goal that we feel good about, our children are inspired and released from the inner stress that it is their responsibility to make their parents happy. The ebb and flow of parenting lends itself to allow for space for parents to do things that make them truly feel happy and successful which in turn yields happy and successful children

2) Finishing your degree increases their likelihood of getting a degree

According to the US Education Department national Center for Education Statistics, children whose parents attended college are much more likely to attend college themselves, and twice as likely to graduate.*

Parent’s educational level not only provides a model and path for their children, but it also opens doors for the children socially and financially, so they are less likely to drop out for financial reasons as well. Furthermore, the NCES study found that students whose parents didn’t hold a college degree are less likely to enroll in challenging courses even at the high school level. When you finish your degree you are showing your children how they can do the same as well as helping them have the financial means to do so.

3) Having parents with a degree promotes a child’s independence

Parents who are thinking about taking on the additional time commitment of school work in their already busy lives are always concerned that the new goal they are pursuing might take away from the time they have available to care for their children. While time management is of the utmost importance, fostering your children’s independence in small tasks to free up parents for more intentional quality time is highly beneficial for children.

Here is what one of our busy working moms at Houghton had to say about her children’s growing independence.

“At first, I thought the household chores were going to be the reason that I couldn’t find time for my school work but my family really stepped up to the plate. My children were able to learn some life skills and feel great about their contribution to our family. I am able to take a walk with them after dinner now instead of folding laundry. It was actually really good for them to see how much they are capable of and to see me as a person with dreams and goals and not just someone who picks up after them.”

What will you do next?

If you decide to take the step to finish your degree, why not partner with an institution that tailors a custom finishing plan that fits your family and truly values you as an individual?

Houghton University exemplifies our commitment to families with our best-in-class support for our students. Please reach out to us at online@houghton.edu to find our more about our transfer credit friendly, financial aid eligible, fully online, academically challenging, accelerated bachelor’s degree programs.

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Houghton staff member Heather Arnold.

About the Author

Heather Arnold helps working professionals and students looking to go back to college to finish their undergraduate degree or earn their Master’s in Business or Education. As the Graduate and Online Enrollment Advisor at Houghton, Heather helps students find opportunities to balance the demands of their work schedule, family commitments, and education.

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