The Working Mother

Topics: Family, Mother, Developmental psychology Pages: 7 (1273 words) Published: September 19, 2011
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, Leon
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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