Kids have it easier when there’s a good balance seen between the professional and personal
In America today, 46% of families have both parents working, as compared to 31% in 1970, according to the Pew Research Center. This trend has been seen worldwide, too, and reflects the increase in the representation of women in the workplace.
This allows both parents to pursue their careers and passions, especially now that child care facilities are safer and more adaptive to the children’s needs. Still, it is debatable whether having both parents away is good for the child. The multiple pros and cons address the family’s ability to manage a work-life balance, making time for their children while also focusing on their work.
- The increased earnings from a double income ensures that children get a better education and a better quality of life. Higher earnings translate to more frequent travels or vacations, quality housing and better accessibility to high-quality amenities that can improve the child’s life.
- Children have access to more diverse influences and facilities, including good books, devices etc, which can enrich the child’s growth.
- Reduced stress not only allows for a comfortable financial situation but also helps parents to be in touch with their passions, thus making them happier. This can bring a family together, providing benefits to the children and parents.
- With reduced exposure to their parents, children tend to gain independence and maturing earlier. This not only prepares them for adulthood but also help them make better decisions in childhood that could prevent them from hurting themselves later. Such children also tend to be more confident and resilient.
- Children learn from the way parents handle their work and personal lives, along with time management. They may also study the situation and conclude that such a life isn’t for them.
- Children who spend less time with parents can feel less loved, and develop psychological problems. There could be gaps in communication that may result in difficulties communicating with the parents later on. Tired parents returning from work may also be less able to make time to play with their children, convincing the kids that they are not loved.
- Children left unsupervised can make bad decisions. While they may mature faster, without correction, decision-making could become warped. Children are vulnerable to making wrong choices, especially when parents are not around, and so need guidance. Some wrong decisions could have lifelong repercussions.
A 2018 study shows that daughters raised by working moms are more likely to pursue higher education themselves and have high income jobs. A Cornell University study showed that children of working Danish mothers had higher average grades than other students. But children of mothers who worked just 10-19 hours/week had GPAs about 2.6 points higher than children whose mothers did not work. But the children of full-time working mothers scored had a slightly lower GPA than those of mothers who worked the shorter hours.
While we see fictional images in films of stereotypical rich kids who lack strong relationships with parents who ignore them and rush off to work, an important factor seems to be the parents’ work-life balance. It is important to spend time together and manage your time well, making time for all the things that matter.