Working mothers

Thirty years ago most mothers stayed home. Kids would whisper behind the backs of children whose mother worked. Now the reverse is true: most mothers work. Some do it by choice, while others have to work to pay bills and survive. Most mothers question at some point whether working will compromise their children’s social and emotional development. The answer depends on how children spend their time and whether parents keep close tabs on their behavior. Authoritative parenting greatly increases children’s resistance to undesirable peer influences. Children of working mothers (particularly daughters) tend to be more independent and hold higher educational and occupational aspirations, as well as having less stereotyped views of men and women. These children are also more confident in social settings and somewhat more sociable with peers. Children of working mothers are just as competent academically as well, so long their parents monitor their schoolwork and keep close watch over their children’s daily activities. The sons of middle-class mothers who work more than 40 hours a week, however, tend to score lower intellectually and achieve less academically.