Careers can make anyone’s future look promising. That’s what most look for when they find employment. It sets us on a road of passion driven dreams, financial security, college education for the children at reputed universities and a safe retirement plan. No one ever thinks of words like: emotional disconnect, behavioral maladjustment, lower cognitive functioning or reduced social skills. How these two are linked have been quite the mission for several research institutes.
This was first noticed as a rising trend in the west and has been identified by several governmental survey studies. These patterns have now been observed in countries where they have a growing population of full-time working parents.
Employment does have its bag of goodies. Families enjoy all the material benefits they invest into but this can be seen as more of a short term gain. While we do enjoy the “good stuff” we buy, working parents need become more sensitive to the deeper needs of their children and the emotional health of their families.
Children whose mothers get back to work within 3 months of childbirth have been noticed to have more behavioral problems when they get into pre-school or kindergarten. This has also been known to impact the mother’s sensitivity. Because mothers feel that they are not spending enough time with their infant child and it tends to make them more irritable at work, and increases stress levels as they are not feeling fulfilled emotionally.
Mothers with infant children who work full time jobs are observed to be more susceptible to symptoms of depression as compared to those in part time jobs at least through the first year. This is alarming and cannot be taken lightly. The mother and the child/children need to spend time as it is nature’s right! This is known to build strong bonds that grow well into adolescence.
The potential dangers of being employed full-time as a couple with young children are many. If parents are showing signs of depression it impacts their child’s basic abilities as compared to those parents who are non-depressive. At infancy the children of stressed and depressed parent/s show signs of:
· Lowered ability to self-quieten
· Reduced or slowed activity levels
· Decreased attention span
These issues can aggravate into preteen and teenage years of the children resulting in the following:
· Expressing or controlling anger
· Expressing and understanding sadness
· Constant irritability
This impacts the development of social skills and skews the idea of familial bonds. Material benefits like expensive toys, clothing or other gadgets cannot be used to compensate for healthy family time. Although working parents have all the right intentions to provide the best for their families they may be blind to what they are trading in to bring in extra money to make life a little more comfortable. Children and parents need relationships and emotional support as primary building blocks to develop holistically. Bringing in financial stability for a better future for themselves or their children will only be secondary to relational stability within families.
Being a practitioner with Visit, an online life-coaching portal, I am aware of the need that is building in this area. We get several requests for ‘parenting coaches’ who are experts on understanding current family issues and addressing them practically. If you notice that your child is showing signs of irritability or is constantly trying to seek you attention you might want to consult a professional who can coach you over a quick appointment.
However busy you get, make home and family your priority! Your kids are your most important investment. Time spent with them is worth much more and will result in them developing into healthy adults with a way better potential to excel in life.
You can get access to parenting tips, stress management, work-life coaching and your very own parenting-coach by downloading Visit on your mobile!
The author is a Visit Coach practicing out of Bangalore.