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With the hard economic times and the general change in the social and cultural values in the modern day society, many women are prevailed upon to take employment opportunities. This seem to contradict the traditional societal confining of the woman to roles such as child care and looking after there family welfare. With these changes a woman’s role in the life and growth of children is brought in focus. Some of the changes have been greatly challenged; example mothers taking employment which may take them far from home
There have been wide spread believe in the society today that the mother employment have a lot of effects on their children. Some of the researches conducted show that children of employed mothers seem to benefit from their mothers employment. Most of the researches conducted on this topic of mother employment and the benefits to the children compare the children of employed mothers and those of unemployed mothers on the general issues such as socioemotional development and status and other indices of cognitive development. These researches have proved that the children of employed mothers tend to fair the better than the children of unemployed mothers.
The researches also have put into account the numerous reasons that may be the cause of this trend. Some of those accounted for included the general believe that employed mothers are more educated than their unemployed counterparts. The outcomes of the researches are based on the assumptions that the above statement is true and also that the employed mothers enjoy a better economic status than the unemployed mothers
In determining the effects of the absence of a mother on motivation, comfort and care on the cognitive, behavioral and physical development of the child are relatively apparent. The questions about whether mothers of infants should be employed and the impact of employment on those infants are complicated and intertwined with a variety of other social, cultural and economic factors. There has been a rapid increase in the number of research on the influences of maternal employment on infants even though they have not examined the link between the developing infant and the dynamic sociocultural context. Maternal employment is embedded in a complex network of contextual factors such as family, neighborhood and culture.
This view is mostly reflected in public statements about child care and parenting. There have been arguments to the effect that the quality of day care in which a child is placed is irrelevant and that from the perspective from the child, day care is the first and foremost the place where he is abandoned by the person he desperately desires to be with (Violato & Snow, 2000). Others still argue that the separation of parents from their children has negative consequences on their bonding, social and emotional development behavior besides influencing their ability to learn. Research in social science has however indicated that children who have been brought up by working mothers seem to fair well than the children of the unemployed mother especially when it comes to learning.
The major purpose of this paper is to bring into light the factors that dispute the general perception that employment of mothers has a negative impact on the general performance of a child development
Parents are not always certain when infants can be left with a supportive non-family caregiver for part of the day. As such, they are always worried whether they are taking the right option by deciding to go back to employment, staying at home with the child or letting someone else take care of the child. These uncertainties coupled with massive financial and social pressures on families with newborn children calls for a critical analysis of the role of parents in the early development of the child and whether leaving such children under the care of other third parties negatively affects the growth and development of the child.
Some conservative women’s organizations and pro family organizations in the United States and Canada holds the belief that mothers should be left to stay at home full time to care for their children during the entire pre-school period. The supporters of this view want the government policy to make this easier and often make proposals that the women who stay at home should be given pay by the government. Their lament is on nuclear family’s breakdown and the changes in roles within the family. The massive movement of women into the labor force since 1960s has worried those still holding the conservative view. As such, they advocate for changes in government policies towards children, families and childcare that would revert back to the cultural and social habits of the 1950s when the majority of women stayed out of employment after the birth of their children. Those still opposing this change should realize that many things in the society have changed and the cultural and hard economic times have made it necessary for the woman to play a role in family support economically and therefore the need for taking up employment opportunities
When focusing on the importance of employment of mother to a child, the provision of best non-maternal care is considered. A mother could hardly be necessary if she could be easily replaced. The majority of discussions concerning the decision to employ mothers when children are young are ideological. However, the supporters of the position that mothers should stay at home provide two arguments. One of these focuses on the social and emotional development of the child and the other focuses on the cognitive development of the child.
As all parents are aware, raising a family is a balancing act especially when children are quite young. Public policy should therefore be focused on making work and family more compatible by increasing the support for all families with very young children, by making good quality childcare more affordable to families who need it and by making maternity benefits and leave available to families who are presently ineligible.
The most recent and comprehensive study to look at the evidence that mother employment affects children indicated instead that this negative role of child care for infants only takes place when extensive or poor quality child care is integrated with insensitive maternal care (Canfield, Hansen, Aubery, & Autio, 2000). The effect of mother employment therefore has a lot to do with the change in the quality of care a child receives. From the assumption that employed mothers enjoy a more economic advantage than the unemployed, it can be generally seen that children of employed mothers will be in the benefiting end as their parents will find provision of quality care affordable.
Other evidence indicates that good quality care plays an integral role in insulating the child from family-based risk. A number of studies on the effects of a child care led to a partial consensus that non-parental care started by the third year of life does not necessarily have adverse effects on psychological development. In fact, the findings indicated that positive effects can be registered (Steinberg & Walker, 1982).
Prof Lois Wladis et al Hoffman of Michigan University provides another dimension into this debate. According to him, employed mothers tend to spend more time with their children during non working hours. This provides sufficient time for them to interact with their children. From this, employment therefore does not get to be in the way in the interaction of mother and child. In his argument, he provides that employed mothers in most cases are more educated than their non employed counterparts. He indicates that several studies have proved that employed mothers were more interactive with their children especially on the area of verbal simulation. This proved to be an advantage to the child especially in later years as children of employed mothers were found to be more advanced in language skills compared to those of non employed mothers.
Another way of looking at the benefits of mothers taking employment to the child is looking at it from the perspective of the outcomes of school going children. Many researches suggest that the part of child bearing that encourages virtues like independence, maturity demands, are very important. This view does not encourage things like overprotection or views such as neglects. Researches have established that employed mothers encourage independence a virtue that is beneficial particularly to girls Prof Lois Wladis Hoffman et al concludes in the study done in
Daughters of mothers who are in full time employment have been found to be more interactive with their peers in the school setting and also more independent. This seems to dispute the traditional gender roles that women were more dependent and unconfident. This may be associated to the fact that in the early days fathers were seen as superior because they were the sole providers in the family. In families with working mothers, the father may be required to help with the house chores and from this the children cultivate a sense of equality among the sexes in the society. Researches have also proved that boys from families with working mothers do not subscribe to the view that there are gender roles in the society such that there is nothing to them that can be done by a man that can not be done by a woman and vice versa. this may be as a result that the mother may be spending a lot of time out of home and at times the father has to do what is traditionally seen as “mothers work” in houses where the mother is non employed.
The level of education of the mother comes into consideration when determining the advantage of a mother taking employment. Many non employed mothers are to some extent not as educated as the employed mothers. With this the children of employed mothers can be seen to benefit from this as confirmed by the
According to attachment argument, a child may become insecurely attached to the mother when the bond between them is regularly broken by frequent separations during the preschool years. This results in long term negative consequences for the development of the child. The employment argument is not very much different from the attachment argument. However, it is less inclined toward psychology and instead focuses on time pressures. The employment argument suggest that when the mother is working away from home during the early years of the child, the child will not receive enough individualized and caring attention particularly when the mother works full time. The cognitive development of the child will be withdrawn as compared to children of mothers who stay at home as a result (Fitzgerald, Karraker & Luster, 2002).
. According to Bowlby (1956), children normally suffer when they are separated from their parents throughout preschool years. He believed that the attachment bonds between mother and child will lose its strength when the child is taken care of by other caregivers and that the child will suffer psychological damage.
Based on the need for parent-child attachment it is true that mothers are just better than anyone else at providing socialization, emotional support and education for their own young children. As a result, there are concerns about the pressures on mothers’ time in situations where they decide to be employed in the paid workforce. The argument suggest that even though women may get satisfaction and income from employment, the employment of the mother when the child is young implies that the child will not receive enough vital parental time, love and attention. This will consequently jeopardize the cognitive development of the child.
Individuals who do not support child care argue that young children need to be fully cared for by their mothers for some years. They constantly cite the same research that presumably supports this conception. However, my conclusion is that the best research suggests no harm to children who are cared for outside their families when the mothers are working outside. This is particularly when children whose mothers return to work in child has passed one year of age is considered. According to Belsky, a child who experiences substantial amount of childcare especially during the first year of life is more likely to be insecurely attached to its mother. This fundamental attachment bond is believed to be of major importance to the early development of the child.
Beyond the concerns about the attachment of the mother and infant, there are other research findings that indicate a negative impact on the mother’s employment during the first year of a child’s life. The bulk of this research was founded on the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth- a study that has no information about the quality of extra-family childcare that young children receive, and no information concerning the sensitivity and general quality of care that young children receive at home. In solving this puzzle, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development have made a major contribution since it has offered information on the quality of care inside and outside the home. Some researchers have found that there are negative impacts on school-readiness tests at the third age of mother’s employment before the child reaches nine months of age.
Maternal and paternal importance in childhood development is without question a primary requirement however the changing socio-cultural context implies that mothers have to take up employment not only for their own financial independence but also to improve on the average family income. Maternal employment can directly or indirectly affect the development of the child. The absence of maternal role satisfaction and mother-child interaction can pose serious negative impacts on the cognitive and behavioral development of the child. However the negative consequences of parental absence during the first years of a child’s can be offset by the positive consequences of good quality early childcare or more sensitive care in the home facilitated by mothers taking employment it should be noted that the quality of care that a child receives greatly determines the kind of person that the chills can be. Mothers therefore can take employment as it has no harm in the overall being of the child as long as quality care for their babies is affordable.
After the first year of an infant, quality non-parental care can is a better option, particularly if the mother has to go back to active employment.