New research: Working Mothers Can Benefit Teen Behavior

Especially during these difficult economic times it is good to know that if a mother needs to go to work, or wants to have her career, it can actually benefit your kids and teens.

New research from the University of California finds that for some families, having mom on the job is really a good thing. The added income reduces the child’s stress not to mention the stress of the parents, offers additional opportunities and provides a positive role model. And teens are not more likely to engage in risky behavior just because their mothers work long hours.

Children whose mothers return to work before their children turn 3 are no more likely to have academic or behavioral problems than kids whose mothers stay at home, according to a review of 50 years of research.  This is refreshing to hear.

It is important for parents to keep their teens accountable for their whereabouts, as well as who they are hanging out with.  Just because a parent is working is not an excuse for your teen to be hanging.  Get a good schedule working for your family.

Connect with Kids offered some great action advice. The most important element of the parent-child relationship is the quality of that relationship. Therefore, mothers who find their own lives fulfilling are happier people and better role models. Most studies have found that work-family conflict and positive spillover are at similar levels in both men and women.

  • Utilize any available work alternatives like flex schedules, etc.
  • When at the office, don’t embark on any new project that you can’t complete 30 minutes before leaving for the day.
  • If you must bring work home, engage in quality family time before beginning your work.
  • Have family meals together, and banish the distractions of television and radio.
  • Make mornings easier by preparing the night before: lay out children’s clothes, pack lunches, plan tomorrow’s dinner, etc.
  • Seek social support at work and in other environments.
  • Reduce and/or reorganize the time you devote to work or family demands.
  • Reduce the psychological importance of one or more of your roles.
  • Find ways to lessen or better cope with stress.
  • Remind yourself that your job is a means to help — rather than harm — your family.
  • Always remember that most teens say when parents are knowledgeable about their lives they are least likely to dabble in risky behavior, and parents who try to be in the know, usually are.

Sources: Connect with Kids, American Psychological Association

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.

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