Does working of both parents affect the child's upbringing?
Q: I am a working lady with a 3-year-old son. My husband stays in Pune and comes home for weekends. We have a nuclear family. I have a full time caretaker for my child. I need your guidance to learn about the parenting of my child. Does the non-availability of the father and mother affect emotional and mental growth of the child? Does the child feel rejected and can he blame the parents for not being available? What is the psychology of the child at this age? I feel guilty on these grounds. Am I wrong and what should I do?
A:Everything that the child experiences is very important for his full development. If the caretaker is making sure that the child has proper, nourishing food made and served attractively and time and place to play with her and with toys suitable to his age, his physical development will be OK. The child's intelligence is growing all the time. The more interesting and suitable his playthings, the quicker his mind will develop. Speaking comes naturally to all children. They will repeat what they hear. They learn to speak the language that those around them speak. There should be plenty of activities for his language to develop naturally. His relationship with you and his father is also very important and you must be sure to spend as much time as you can spare, to talk to him, tell him stories, sing to him, feed him and play with him. Its useless to feel guilty. It would be better to work for shorter hours to spend more time with your child, if you have the choice. Children want the mother and father much more than anything that their money can buy. But this is a decision that you will have to make after you take note of all factors and discuss the matter with your husband. If you can both get jobs in the same city, some of the stress will be relieved. A great deal depends on the caretaker you have appointed. If she is caring, affectionate, consistent and communicates well with the child, it is sheer good luck. I trust that you have trained her in meal preparation and the rules of hygiene. I hope that you are letting her go on the weekends and doing the child's care giving tasks yourself. That would ensure that the child develops attachment to you and associates you with fun and play as well.