Fast Company - Jan.-Feb., Article #2 : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Fast Company - Jan.-Feb., Article #2

-- Anonymous, January 08, 2000


What Parents Seem To Be In Denial About - The Effect That Their Pressured Lives Have On Their Kids. by Tony Schwartz, Fast Company, pp. 236-240.

What Parents Seem to be in Denial About - The Effect that their Pressured Lives Have on their Kids, was an article, written by Tony Schwartz, which discusses the findings of a study focusing on more than 1000 children ranging from third grade to twelfth grade and 600 of their parents. The results of this study were published in a new book titled, Ask the Children: What Americas Children Really Think About Working Parents, which was written by Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute.

After the study was compiled and interpreted, Galinsky noted some interesting implications for children of working parents which were both favorable and not so favorable. Favorable implications include the fact that working parents are spending more time with their children than they did in the past and that most children dont feel their mothers parenting skills are affected by her career or the type of career she has. Negative implications include that it isnt unusual for parents to exaggerate the amount of time they claim to spend with their children and that many children seem to underplay how they feel when they dont experience a sufficient amount of time with their parents.

In addition to publishing the results of the study, Galinksys book discusses several repercussions which could significantly affect children who dont have the opportunity of being able to spend an adequate amount of time with their parents. These repercussions include children who have trouble concentrating, relating to others, depression, anxiety, nervousness, and low self esteem.

While it wouldnt be easy for all parents to completely change the kind of the time they spend with their children, Tony Schwartz offers some suggestions on what parents could do to make the transition easier. First, they need to be more considerate of regular and traditional family events and routines. Second, parents need to keep their work problems at work so that these problems wont interfere with their home relationships. Third, it is essential for parents to be there for as many important events in a childs life as possible. Fourth, conversation about a parents work should be centered around more positive aspects in order for a child to develop healthy views about the kind of work they may do some day. Finally, its very important to make it a priority to know how your child feels and keep the lines of communication open, especially during their stressful teenage years.

I have been a single working mother for most of my childrens life. As much as I regret it, it wasnt always easy, or sometimes possible, to spend the kind of time I wanted to with them. There were several times that I had to miss important events in their lives because I had to work and it just wasnt possible to get time off. Though I have regrets, I am thankful that my two children turned out as well-adjusted as they did. I know this isnt always the case, because I have friends who have had nothing but trouble with their children no matter what they tried. I also agree with Schwartz that while it may be hard to totally adjust your schedule to accommodate your children, there are several steps a parent can do, which I feel, are reasonably achievable. I do not feel that children need to hear about the problems that their parents have at work, because this can put unnecessary stress and worry on them. I realize that this may be harder for some parents than others because a lot depends on a parents problem and emotional status. I also feel a child will be more emotionally and socially healthy if they believe that a parent is making a genuine effort to attend important events and to keep family routines as consistent as possible. The most important step, I feel, however, is for a parent to keep in touch with their childs feelings and to make themselves available whenever signs indicate that a child needs someone to talk to. Ultimately, I believe that parents who make their childs well-being a top priority will be helping to ensure that child receives the best care and attention possible in order to be happy, confident, and productive.

-- Anonymous, January 08, 2000

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