The Plight of the Children of Working Parents
The importance of the full presence of at least one of the parents in a child’s daily life can never be overemphasized, especially in today’s society where both parents in a home are likely to be in the workforce. Children from most homes where both parents work outside are indirectly subjected to untold danger, suffering, apprehension, and emptiness due to their parents’ absence in their day-to-day life and activities. And In trying to substitute for their presence or compensate for their absence, the parents invariably provide stuff that negatively affects the kids and dent the relationship and impair the bond between them.
A TYPICAL HOME WHERE BOTH PARENTS WORK
In a typical home where both parents are in the workforce; sadly, even nursing mums with babies of the age of as little as three months, everybody wakes up and rushes out of the house before seven am.
The children are hurried in and out of the bathroom and are served a quick breakfast. No in-depth discussions, intense observation and attention from the parents to the children except for the quick adjustment of the well-ironed school uniform and maybe a quick goodbye kiss as they are being dropped off at school, that is if the parent have time for that (it is usually the work of the driver, nanny or the school bus) Eventually, in the afternoons or evenings the children come back to the empty homes.
Finally, when the parents get home in the evenings, they are too exhausted to probe, observe, and study their children’s attitudes and behaviors. Too stressed to patiently listen and try to understand the children’s confusion, vulnerabilities, exploits, fear, intimidation, worries, excitement, expectations, etc.
HOW YOUR ABSENCE AFFECT YOUR CHILDREN
It is not as if the parents do not love or care enough for the children, but they are too tired from the day’s work outside the home that they have little or nothing at all left for the children at home. Except for some of the mundane questions like “have you done your homework, what happened today in the school, did you finish your lunch? Etc. of course, these are questions from a parent who genuinely love and care for the child. But the problem is that the parents might not always be mentally, psychologically, and emotionally disposed to hear all the details and answers to all the questions posed to the child.
You, as a parent love, care, appreciate and adore your child but your absence in his or her life creates this vacuum that tells them that they can’t trust you.
The children have many questions and need answers from people they trust. And they don’t ask you because they don’t trust you, and that is because they believe you are not always available and don’t care that much.
Thanks for the expensive school, designer fashions, exotics meals, luxury apartments, and accessories- but they need more than all these. Their emotions have to be constantly attended to, and the school cannot perform this kind of job, games, movies, social media, and nannies will make a caricature of their emotions and entire wellbeing. They need you – Always.
I can hear you argue “money doesn’t fall from trees, houses and furniture don’t grow from the ground, schools don’t run a charity, and clothes and food don’t come from the wind. Somebody has to work to provide those things. And that is the work of loving, caring, and committed parents- to provide for their children and give them a decent living if not a luxurious one; so give me a break” Unarguably, you are right – absolutely right. They are the reason for your hustle.
The absent parents, in trying to substitute for their presence in the children’s lives during the day, devise ways and provides stuff to engage the children with, unfortunately, most times these ‘things’ directly or indirectly constitute an abusing agent to the children.
Child abuse and the Nannies/ maids
For reasons best known to them, some (devil sent) nannies or maids who works in the homes where both parents are working (habitually absent during the day), out of envy and spite for their boss, really practice horrendous and atrocious acts against the children they are supposed to take care of, especially the babies who are not yet able to talk comprehensibly or understand things.
Some of these vicious acts include drugging the kids to sleep, beating them to silence and compliance, starving them, and worst of all, sexually abusing them.
One of the ways parents substitute for their absence in their children’s day to day lives and activities is employing maids or nannies. Of the truth, almost every home especially with little children would need a maid or nanny. Even some stay-at-home mums? Well, nothing is wrong with hiring help in your home if you so wish or believe you can’t cope without one. But the danger and mistake lie when the home is left for the maid to run and manage, in taking total charge of the children’s wellbeing – their meals, school runs, health, their laundry and sanitation, practically everything about the children.
When your children’s daily activity is managed by someone else, under your roof, from week to week, months to month, and even year to year, you have automatically bequeathed upon such one the role of parenting your children, which he or she is neither trained nor qualified to do. And even then if the fellow is trained to do so, what makes you think that he or she would be ready or glad to be fully committed and dedicated to your child’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
Social media, as good, as benefiting and as exciting it is, is not mostly the safest and healthiest place to leave your children to wallow unguarded and unchecked. Children, in the absence of their parents, bury themselves in almost every junk that goes on on social media. Unfortunately, it seems to be the only medium of information, interaction, and attention for the child.
In social media, the children meet those they consider as friends or some kind of people they can talk with, who they believe know what they (the children) do not know. And this kind of association excites the children because it provides a sense of belonging and demands neither accountability nor responsibility from them. It makes the child believes he is worthy of someone’s attention and admiration, which they are not adequately getting from their parents at home.
It is worst for teenagers who are under peer pressure and have many questions in their minds but no one around enough to observe let alone discussing or giving answers to those questions
Games and movies, although entertaining, educating, and engaging (which is mostly the reason why absent parents make them available for the children) are not entirely without adverse effects on the children. Just like social media, if the children are left unguarded over the movies they see, and the games (especially computer games) they would eventually be negatively influenced by some of the movie themes and aspects which may include sex, drug abuse, violence, offensive languages, etc.
When the parents do not pay attention, due to their unavailability in their children’s daily activities, the children indulge in games, movies, and social media, where they see, hear, and read about various ill activities, irresponsible indulgencies, and horrendous occurrences that go in the world.
Now, depending on the types of movies, games, chats, and associations the kid is engaged in, he or she begins to act out the Influence. Such as-
Masturbation: This is, unfortunately, truer than you can believe. The chances that your young child is not addicted to masturbation are very slim.
Irritation: some become habitually irate and intolerant of their siblings, classmates, and even to adults.
Insolence and arrogant: they become so disrespectful and annoyingly stubborn and cocky, especially to the maids and their school teachers.
Depression and confusion: Some would drive into deeper confusion with the negative feelings that they are undesirable, unlovable, ugly, and boring, accompanied by the feeling of loneliness.
Violence: boys, especially, become more violent and aggressive.
Isolation and detachment: mostly, girls become more quiet, detached, irate, and picky at meals.
Distractions: the children tend to be easily distracted from their studies at school and affect them in diligently doing their home works or assignments from school.
The decision of being present in your little ones’ day-to-day lives and activities is the greatest priority because they need you most at the young age of their lives. Sooner than you expect they would leave the home for school, after then, face their careers and most likely live in another city and finally start their own homes.
I advocate for at least one of the parents, if possible, the mum to be at home to take care of the children. Especially if what the man brings home can be made do, with proper planning and management. But if both of you must work, you would need extra energy to attend to the children in every sense. Especially in inculcating discipline and nurturing them into responsible, respectful, and resourceful adults tomorrow.
I know it could be crazy and tasking, but tomorrow is most promising with the rewards of loving and sacrificing the hard work of a diligent and dedicated stay at-Home-parent. The time, energy, and resources you are investing today in your children would worth the sacrifice tomorrow, trust me. If you can, give up the pressure of working. Pay the sacrifice for the future of your young kids. Someone must make a sacrifice, after all that is what parenting is all about – ‘sacrifices’.
And In this way, the child most of the time opens up communication and talks more freely about his or her feelings whether negative or positive, to ask more questions and engage more in the home and family activities.
Have you ever wondered why your teenage child is more quiet, detached, irate, and picky at meals? They feel lonely, unappreciated, confused, and probably unwanted. Mind you, these feelings are not reality.