Parental presence: encouragement for the working parent

I came across an interesting statement in the chapter “Mothers and Sons” from James Dobson’s book titled “Bringing Up Boys”.

He writes that a study found that “The presence of parents is very beneficial at four key times of the day – early morning, after school, dinnertime, and bedtime. When that regular contact is combined with other shared activities between parents and kids, the most positive outcome is achieved.”

As a working parent, I already wrestle with the fact that I am not able to spend full days with my children.  And unfair judgements from well-meaning but unknowing people only serve to discourage further a mother who works because she has to, not because she wants to.   Life and circumstances are too complicated for people to make simplistic judgements about working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.  Every person is faced with a unique set of challenges and pitfalls, and each is as much prone to failing as having potential to succeed at parenting.

But it is heartening for me at least, to be encouraged and know that while we make do with our present circumstances, we can still make a difference through the effort to be at breakfast with them before we leave for work, be home for dinner and ensure that bedtime is kept as a sacred family time to spend together to talk, play, read and finally pray together before we sleep. 

In a week requiring us to adjust back to routine after spending a long holiday break with the children, it was chicken soup for this working parent’s soul.


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