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Do Working Mothers Have More Successful Children?

If you have children or are thinking about it, then you might have given some thought to who will go out to work and who is staying at home to look after the kids. Do you still to the “traditional” roles and have mum as the primary caregiver while dad goes to work, or does mum become the breadwinner of the family?

Whichever choice you make, you might feel as if you are “abandoning” your children in favour of career, or that people will think you are not cut out to earn money for your family. And how might your choice affect your children in later life?

But worry no more!

According to international research carried out by Harvard University in the US, children of working mothers might fair better as adults.

The International Social Survey Programme examined data from 24 countries between 2002 and 2012, and the pattern was pretty consistent around the world.

The results revealed that one in three adult daughters of mothers who worked were in managerial positions in their workplace, compared with one in four daughters of homemaker mothers. They were also found to be enjoying better careers and more equal relationships, as well as earning an average of 4% more.

“Mothers’ employment teaches daughters a set of skills that enable greater participation in the workplace and in leadership roles,” explained the authors of the study.

On top of this, the researchers didn’t find any links between a mother going out to work and her son’s working patterns. However, the sons of working mothers tended to be more caring and family-orientated in the home than the sons of stay-at-home mums.

The study authors, led by Professor Kathleen McGinn, explained that over the years, more and more women have been entering the workplace and leaving their partners at home looking after the children.

Although is is becoming more common practise, some people are still worried about society’s reaction to this choice and are choosing to remain in the so-called established family roles of dad-at-work and mum-at-home.

The study authors are hoping the research will help to promote respect for whatever choices parents make, in the workplace or at home.

“Whether mums or dads stay at home or are employed, children benefit from exposure to role models offering a wide set of alternatives for leading rich and rewarding lives,” they said.

So whichever parents has a job, and whichever one runs the household, neither situation makes one a better parent over the other. As long as the children are brought up in a happy and healthy environment, that’s what really counts to help your children grow into the kind of adult you want them to be.

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