Working mothers are once again under scrutiny from the society. For a long time the belief
has been that working mothers are not able to give their children the love and care that they
deserve and therefore make their children have limited growth and development in both social
and cognitive aspects (Raquel 1173). The view is that the relationship with the mother helps a
child establish and maintain relationships with others. However, recent studies have proven that
working mothers have a positive effect on their children, thus failing to prove the once widely
held belief that mothers were meant to stay at home.
Ever since women began entering the work force the debate has been looming over working
mothers and those who choose to remain at home with their children. Such concerns are whether
or not having a working mother negatively affects their children emotionally and/or
academically. Another concern is the stress level a working mother faces on a daily basis.
Children raised by working mothers achieve higher academic grades and adjust well socially
(Lois Wladis Hoffman 438). Several studies show that children with working mothers achieve
higher grade point averages and also develop good attitudes about school (Montemayor 113).
The children achieve better intellectual and social growth and this is especially true for the
daughters who try to imitate the independent capabilities of the mother (Hoffman, Lois 21).
Working mothers are more likely to influence their children to pursue and achieve academic and
social interests. According to Kagan (165) and Leon Hoffman (41) children are likely to honor
what the mother does rather than say and therefore a child whose mother praises intellectual
competence by being an intellectual herself is more likely to be emulated by her children than
one who praises the same but is but has no experience.
Working mothers give a greater sense of control in their lives, increased social support from
co-workers and financial stability, all of which boost her confidence and increase morale of the entire family (Blake 7). Blake reports in the Telegraph that research has shown working
mothers to have better mental health, ability to build healthier relationships within the family, as
well as boost the household income (7) . All of these variables aid in the development of the
child. Such children benefit from higher quality nanny or day-care centers as the mothers can
afford the best care services. The study refutes the criticism that the absence of the mother when
working can negatively influence the cognitive and social development of the child. The
argument is also supported by the study conducted by Kagan (165) which shows that the
cognitive and social development of a child is more determined by the child’s inherited
temperament rather then a constant parental interaction. Children with working mothers are able
to benefit from an increased household income, better care, and a happier home life and still
hold on to parental interaction. On the other hand, non-working mothers have lower control in
the family and are shown to be less happy, a negative influence on the development of the
children (Zaslow 112).
Working mothers have positive effects on their children with an active participation of the
fathers (Hoffman, Lois 18). With the changing gender roles within the family structure, more
mothers are getting employed while fathers become more active in child care and household
tasks. The study by Hoffman, Emerita, and Arbor (20) shows that the active participation of
fathers in child care also contributes to a greater sense of value and intellectual development in
the child. Fathers are known to demand thorough outcomes from their children in regard to
discipline, academic performance and they even push for a higher...
Cited: Blake, Heidi. “Working Mothers do not Harm their Children, Study Finds.” Telegraph 01 Aug. 2010. Web.
Hoffman, Lois, Emerita, & Arbor, Ann. The Effect of Mother’s Employment on the Family and the Child. Parenthood in America. 1998. Web. 2 Apr. 2011
Hoffman, Lois Wladis
Macmillan Reference USA, 2002. 437-440. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Apr. 2011.
Kagan, Jerome. “The Role of Parents in Children’s Pychological Development.” Pediatrics. Vol. 104 No. 1: 164-167 Web. 31 Mar. 2011.
Montemayor, Raymond & Clayton, Mark. “Maternal Employment and Adolescent Development.” Theory Into Practice. Vol. 22 No. 2: 110-118. Web. 31 Mar. 2011.
Myers, Kristen, Anderson, Cynthia, & Risman, Barbra. Feminist Foundations: Toward Transforming Sociology. UK: SAGE, 1998. Print.
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