The Effect on Children When Both Parents Are Employed

By the end of the XX century escalating economical problems and mutative social tendencies resulted in almost total nullification of traditional role of a woman as a housekeeper and a full-time child watcher. Nowadays overwhelming majority of families can not afford single income to cover all the needs. Therefore both parents have to work in order to provide their children with everything necessary for normal development and progress. Undoubtedly, such social transformation of female role in the family brought to definite changes in family lifestyle and, especially, had a great influence on children of full-time employed parents.

It is possible to say that the effects of the situation with both working parents on children can be classified as positive and negative ones. Such conclusion can come into mind of a researcher after interviewing little children or addressing to childhood memories of grown-ups. Negative outcomes are, first of all, lack of communication of parents with children. When mom and dad are full-time working, kids receive considerably less parental time, attention and guidance.

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In addition, they need to get used to someone, who is providing them with day care (a babysitter, a teacher, etc), when parents are out, or to being alone at home. These things can affect psychological condition of children and result in a sort of mental disturbance or disorder. When I was 3, my mother decided to continue working. She did not want to place me to a child day care center, so I was sent to my grandma’s. It’s been very hard for me to get along with the old woman, who had rather tough temper.

Besides, I was strongly attached to my mom and was missing her desperately, which somehow affected my understanding of the world around me. I think it would be better not to send me away and take care of me at least in work-free hours. At the same time, being always next to child can result in some slow-downs, deformations and other problems in proper development of a child. Non-working mothers have to beware giving too much attention to their children and must encourage their kids to be independent, fearless, self-organized, determined, strong-minded, etc.

My school friend Kelly used to tell me that, having spent all the childhood next to her not working mom, she had developed strong attachment to her mother. In her family mom was always next the daughter and demonstrated incredible care. Later on, it caused some difficulties for Kelly to learn how to cope with difficulties of life. For example, she did not want to go to school, used to be extremely afraid of strangers and always cried. Also, when one parent is full-time employed and the other is at home dealing with children, parents can have different images in the eyes of their kids.

The one who punishes and sermonizes can become a “bad parent”, and the one who has no time for this is a “good parent”. Little Jane (4) says that she loves her daddy much more than mom, because daddy is always kind and never screams on her, like mom does. Besides, he never comes home without a present or a box of chocolates for his little girl. Sometimes children can get stressed and show weird reactions on full-time employment of parents. My niece, Sarah, was extremely attached to her father.

When Sara had to start school, at the same time he started working in a suburb and had to stay there at the week-days. The girl was missing her father so much and tried to protest against his absence at home by avoiding school and receiving bad grades. It took more than year for her to get used to the situation. I guess it is much easier to solve the problem of both working parents, if there is more than one child in the family. Firstly, because mother has opportunity to stay home longer to take care about the younger child; besides, elder children can provide younger ones with good guidance and care.

My neighbors, Steve (9) and Michael (6) told me that parents used to leave them at home alone almost since Steve was 5. Children were getting along perfectly, and only some help of a babysitter was needed, when Steve had to go to school. Social dilemma, should both parents in the family be full-time employed or not, remains to be arguable and disputable. As I have learnt from this research, this problem has various effects on children, and those effects are also strictly individual for every particular family.

Actually, being a good parent includes providing children with both emotional and financial support. That is why every parents have to find own effective ways to satisfy all the needs of their children and keep the family together in accordance and love.


Polatnick, M. R. (2002, April). Quantity Time: Do Children Want More Time with Their Full-Time Employed Parents?. Center for Working Families, University of Caroline, Berkeley. Working Paper No. 37. Retrieved October 2, 2006, from <http://wfnetwork. bc. edu/berkeley/papers/37. pdf. >.