Perfect Parenting?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Times published an interesting article: Working moms vs. stay-at-home: what's better for kids?. "Are working moms somehow lacking as parents compared to stay-at-home mothers? According to a new demographic analysis from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the answer is a reassuring no. The study found that working doesn't lower the quality of parenting overall — or even worsen the load of parental stress."

But the study also found out having a considerable length of maternity leave matters.

I've always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I feel that I could be a better mom by being at home, having more time to spend with the family and caring for the home. But we cannot afford it and I was back into the workforce since my son was 9 months old. But that desire to be a stay-at-home mom stayed with me, and only until recently had I begun to accept reality.

This also reminded me of the illustration the pastor used in his sermon this past Sunday. I googled it and discovered that he actually sourced it from the book Freakanomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Levitt is described on its jacket as a "rogue economist (who) explores the hidden side of everything".

Levitt generated a list of factors that correlated strongly with good school test scores and this is what he found mattered and what did not about parenting.

Matters: The child has highly educated parents.
(Ok, I consider myself that)
Doesn't: The child's family is intact.
(We are intact)

Matters: The child's parents have high socioeconomic status.
(Medium, I'd say)
Doesn't: The child's parents recently moved into a better neighbourhood.
(Ours is okay)

Matters: The child's mother was thirty or older at the time of her first child's birth.
(Yup, I was)
Doesn't: The child's mother didn't work between birth and kindergarten.
(Oh, I did)

Matters: The child had low birth weight.
(Oh no, he was heavy alright)
Doesn't: The child attended Head Start.
(What's that?)

Matters: The child's parents speak English at home.
(English is our first language, doesn't matter that we are Chinese)
Doesn't: The child's parents regularly take them to museums.
(Er, nope)

Matters: The child is adopted.
(No, he's not)
Doesn't: The child is regularly spanked.
(Used to!)

Matters: The child's parents are involved in the PTA.
(No PTAs in the schools he attended, and I'd most probably won't be much involved if there were)
Doesn't: The child frequently watches television.
(Moderately, he's ALWAYS at the computer, does that count?)

Matters: The child has many books in their home.
(Yup, loads!!! haha)
Doesn't: The child's parents read to them nearly every day.
(Used to and frequently too. When he was a baby, I even read my books and The Economist aloud! Now, I read the Bible to him every other day)

His test results? Not so good, some quite bad. But I'm not giving up hope that he'll do better.

pearlie

You Might Also Like

0 comment(s)