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Are you spending enough time with your child?
April 14, 2005
o you work long hours?
Are your kids spending more time with their grandparents or the at the babysitter's than with you?
Well, according to a Bristol University study, children aged below two years, who are left under the care of their grandparents or close family friends, are not likely to flourish at school.
On the other hand, children left with paid carers are more likely to come out with flying colours in future.
Researchers examined 7,000 children born in the Avon district in 1991 and 1992 from birth until they were seven years old.
The 'significant' detrimental effects when the child is left with an unpaid carer are as follows:
i. The child is, on average, three months behind his/ her peers by the age of seven, doing less well in literacy and numeracy tests.
ii. The child will be less adept with language.
iii. Their reading and word recognition are less advanced.
The researchers found that short periods of care by relatives appear not to be damaging. Full-time working mothers relying solely on relatives could be harmful.
The research, published in the Economic Journal, is the latest to look at children's educational development and their mothers' working patterns, and will alarm those 44 per cent of working mothers who use grandparents as sources for child care.
Aaruna Jain, a counsellor with the Indian School, Muscat, says all working parents must take extra care and interest in their kids, irrespective of who takes care of them. Here are her suggestions:
1. Just because you are away doesn't mean there should be a lapse of discipline.
Define the ground rules well with respect to going out, study schedules, inviting friends home, watching television and time to be spent on the computer. Make surprise checks to see that the rules are being adhered to.
2. Get into the habit of waking up a little early and having breakfast with your child.
During breakfast, ask your child about his/ her projects, important assignments and plans for the day ahead. The basic idea is to start the day with a conversation as well as words of encouragement and advice.
3. When selecting a babysitter or a crèche, make sure it is a person with good references and a solid reputation.
Talk to previous employers and other parents for valuable insights.
4. Get your children involved!
Whenever possible try to explain to them how important it is for you to be away because of work.
Explain the financial implications, the social responsibilities, etc, due to which you need to be away. Your child will understand if you communicate well.
In fact your child is likely to appreciate and understand your actions better and be proud of your achievements.
With inputs from ANI