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When both parents work, do children suffer?
10/27/2008 - By Daphne Carraway

When both parents work, do children suffer?

Is it necessary for both parents to work? How are children affected with both parents at work? What can we do as working parents to minimize their suffering?

I am reminded of a story a friend told me once. She worked over 50 plus hours a week just to make ends meet. She hated taking her daughter to daycare everyday, but what else could she do?

The real heart quencher came one day when she picked her daughter up from daycare. As they are walking to the car, the daughter turns to the worker and says “Bye Mommy.”

OUCH!! As a mom, I know that had to hurt deeply. Had the situation actually come to the point where the daughter did not even know who her parents were?

Here are a few ways that children suffer.

1. Lack of Income. One out of five experience various degrees of poverty even in wealthy areas. An ever increasing number of families are poor because both parents are working at low-paying, dead end jobs with no benefits.

The results: Kids cannot have things they want and need such as pets, clothes, and school events. They hear mom and dad argue about finances. Low quality daycares that do not meet the needs or provide a safe environment for children.

2. Lack of Interest. We all want what is best for our kids. To some parents, that means providing a better and more comfortable life. They think the only way to have the lifestyle desired is for both parents to work. They forget that what matters more to kids is when their parents show interest in THEM. When both parents work, they usually have less time for their children.

The results: Parents miss their children's events, such as games, recitals, and everyday life. Children do not feel loved. (Love is spelled T-I-M-E). Kids misbehave, just striving to get some kind of attention. In time, it turns to complete rebellion.

3. Lack of Influence. Someone is grooming our kids. If we as parents are not grooming them for success, we are dooming them for failure. If both parents work, kids cannot come to their parents for help with life's problems. They look to outside sources for guidance.

The results: Children look to the media which is filled with violence and vanity. Children look to their peers, which may have their own social problems. Children look to escape through drugs, improper relationships, and other harmful things.

Are there any solutions?

Yes, there are lots of ways to provide excellent care for children and still spend enough time with them to greatly reduce suffering. Each situation is different. When weighing the options, parents should consider not only what is best for their children right now, but what will be best for them in the long run.

* Trim your budget. Cut out the fluff (little things you take for granted that you do not really need). Consider the expenses of both parents working (2 cars, insurance, daycare, fast food, etc.) compared to the income you receive from it. In many cases, when sitting side by side, families realize that one parent could be home without sacrificing very much at all.

* Evaluate your priorities. When your priorities are in the right place, you will be amazed at how everything else flows much more smoothly. Many will disagree, but I personally follow the advice of leading experts as the following order for priorities: 1st - God, 2nd - Spouse, 3rd – Children, 4th – Business. A family that prays together, stays together.

* Get to know your kids again. You may think you know your kids, but you will be surprised at what you will learn when you are open and honest with them and you show a genuine interest in who they are. Do not put your opinions on them; find out what is important to them.

* Find successful families. Everyone needs a coach in some area. Your weaknesses may be someone else's strength. When you see something that works, do all that you can to learn from them.

* Look into working from home. Many companies are scams. Even legitimate companies don't work well if you are not able to get good training. Do your research before you decide. If you do not know what to look for, or you have tried before and failed, request a free e-book from us. Click here.

* Make the most of your time. When both parents must work, try having alternating work shifts so that at least one parent is always available. Leave work at work, use the time at home as time for your family. Have weekly family night, not just around the television, but an activity that involves everyone.

In today's world, it is often necessary for both parents to work. Children left to themselves may suffer emotionally, morally, and socially. Careful planning can greatly reduce suffering and bring families closer together. What path will you choose?