For most of us, childhood was a "no-worries" time, when everything was rosy and beautiful. Sure there were the occasional ups and downs when the grades were not great. But on the whole, childhood reminds us of a simpler time! As adults, we sometimes wish for that nonchalance. However, it's not all simple to be a child in today's world. They have their own battles albeit all the glories of technology and modern comforts. Have you ever wondered how your job has impacted your kids? Let's take a look
We know that children pick up from what goes on around them. It is not just the dress-up games, that we are talking about here. Kids observe and learn from how we deal with stress and conflicts. Picture this, you have had a rough day at work. Your rotating shifts have left you feeling emotionally and physically drained. All this with the fun addition of a fussy toddler can simply make you lose it! It is only a matter of time before all hell breaks loose. Before you can pace yourself, words are said that you really wish you could take back. Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, you could go down on a guilt-shame spiral, blaming yourself for being a bad parent! But what about the kids? They learn from how you badly or how well you managed this situation. In fact, they are watching you like hawks!
Research speaks volumes
According to the research conducted at the University of Washington, parent's work shifts have a significant impact on children. Those who work in health care and law enforcement know that their job demand changes in work schedules. Sometimes it is not just the job, but parents who actually request for a change in shifts so that they don't compromise taking care of their children.
The research revealed that work-life balance had a different impact on boys and girls. It is quite a well-known fact that in low-income families with single-parents, the pressures are high - for both the children as well as the parent. But what about two-parent families? Let's delve a little deeper. It was found that:
- Mother's night shift was found to have a positive effect on children of both genders, especially in their young age.
- Mother's rotating shift was found to be more problematic and distressing for little boys and older girls.
- Father's rotating shift was seen to cause behavioral problems for girls, particularly younger girls.
- Father's night shift was found to have positive effects on boys.
Researchers had an interesting story to tell. Dad's tend to be more involved in the lives of little boys. This is why the night shift was found to be beneficial for the little men. Makes sense doesn't it? Stress and tension are not only bad for the parents. It has a big role in a child's life too. An exhausted parent can lose it at a child's silliest antics. For those of you who are wondering how you can get out of this mucky mess, just stick to whatever works for you. 9 to 5 job is not necessarily the best option. If you can handle consistent night shifts really well and want to spend breakfast time with your kids? Then why not? Go ahead with choosing night-shifts!
Don't be too harsh on yourself! In the frenzy of staying on top of everything and getting things done, you may neglect your body's desperate calls for attention. Remember, a worn out mind and exhausted body will never make you the best parent that you want to be.
Take it one day at a time, dear parent! Don't be too harsh on yourself.