benefits to staying at home vs. working- on a child

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    Okay, i hope that this doesn’t reignite a debate but i would like to read some articles on long term benefits of moms or dads staying home. i am decreasingly less sensitive about this topic as my son gets older but i always observe chidlren who are/have been at home with mom vs. children in day care and i honestly see no difference. again, i am not advocating one way or the other but i would like to read more about the subject.
    let me give you some examples. my son went through a hitting phase. i thought it was because of the naughty, unsupervised kids at day care. i have observed 2 children who stay at home and have very limited social interatcion do the same thing. they aren’t siblings also, my son clings to a stuffed animal- mostly when he is tired and i thought this was a sign of insecurity becuase i’m not there all day every day. again, this is another behavior i have observed in children that stay at home.
    are intelligence and behaviors some things that are different?
    i also have noticed emotional problems in chidlren in both settings but i am not a child psychiatrist or psychologist so i don’t know for sure.
    i think that the biggest advantage for me would be less stress and coordination if i stay at home.
    any ideas about this or where to find research done?


    Originally posted by bermiegal:
    i thought it was because of the naughty, unsupervised kids at day care.

    Unsupervised children is a sign of a daycare that’s poorly run and probably unsafe.

    As to which is the best environemnt for children, I’ve never compared the two. I’ve always intuitively felt that the opportunity to develop social skills (my daughter was extremely shy before starting daycare at 2) and exposure to commom “bugs” were the best reasons for placing my daughter in childcare/daycare.

    As for staying at home while this is an option for me, I’d NEVER consider it UNLESS I had multiple births or a child with special needs.


    I come from a very conservative family – I was homeschooled and my mother was at home with us all the time. I would never say that this was easy – I can’t believe she did it. I have a lot of friends/family members that are doing the same thing. That said, I come in totally on the other side of the issue for me.
    I tried the stay-at-home thing for the first year or so after my daughter was born. I think it drove both of us nuts. We are both of the presonality that goies nuts if we only see each other all day. 🙂 The next year I went back to school and she and I were both much happier. Last year she started preschool and I couldn’t believe the difference in her and in our relationship. It was so much better for both of us.
    For me and and my child, I think day care and preschool options were wonderful. I know other people that are happy and their kids are happy staying at home. This is great for them, but it isn’t me.
    I do feel very strongly that children need to be around other children – at least preschool when they are old enough. Missing those things myself and seeing others who think that children should spend every waking moment with a parent compared to those in preschool and school has convinced me that most children need the peer interaction.

    Just my :twocents: !



    Originally posted by pathdr2b:
    [b] [QUOTE]Originally posted by bermiegal:
    [qb] i thought it was because of the naughty, unsupervised kids at day care.
    Unsupervised children is a sign of a daycare that’s poorly run and probably unsafe.[/b]

    I said that to say that was my dramatic reaction. they probably really weren’t unseupervised


    Thanks for bringing this up. I appreciate hearing the responses, particularly that of Bekagain.


    There was a large study that got a lot of press on this subject a little while ago. Heres a link talking about it. I know our child is going to be in day care for at least 30 hours per week but i guess we’ll just make the best of it. Clearly there are some advantages to day care too.


    thanks for that study info. it’s interesting how they really make it sound negative at first and then tlak about the positive points. and then the pros and cons of kids who stay at home weren’t studied or discussed as extensively.


    In my practice I do a lot of pregnancy and postpartum work, and in my social group I have lots of young mom friends. What I see as the difference is not whether kid is in daycare or home with a parent, but whether the parents are affectionate and consistent with the kids. My 2 cents (some day I have to learn how to do those cute little graemlins!) is that moms and dads need to figure out for themselves whether they are more relaxed and consistent with the kids if they work or if they stay at home. I was home for a year with my first and it worked out great because I had a good support network and wasn’t isolated. I’ve worked since then except for 2 months after my daughter was born. This works great for us because I love my work and I love my kids, but I’m not exhausted by them. I think moms who are more relaxed and content and consistent at home should be at home if they can, and moms who are more relaxed and content and consistent with kids if they also work should do that. Dads too!


    Okay, I am biased on this one. I think both parents should have the capacity to support the family in case of disability, death, or divorce. Thank GOODNESS my mom worked! I spent time in daycare/in preschool/with babysitters, but if she had not worked throughout my childhood, it would have been a total disaster when my father left. As it was, she was able to buy my father out of half of the house (he wanted to go buy a new house with his mistress) so I could stay in the home I had always known and eventually go on to a good college full-time. Yes, I worked, took loans, and received financial aid (no help from dad), but I really appreciate the opportunities I have had because my mother worked. I know that stay-at-home parents return to work all the time, but I shudder to think what would have happened if my mother had not been working at the time of the divorce.

    I am not saying that every family should send their kids to daycare, just that the capacity of either parent to support the children is very important in my mind. I wish all marriages would last forever, but obviously that is not the case.

    As for the extra assertiveness/aggressiveness — that is a tough one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that extra oomph (within reason) actually helps the child later in life. Also, if the child is in daycare due to family financial stresses, you could not say whether problems are arising from the daycare or the stress at home. Well, it’s a knotty problem, isn’t it? I cannot see myself ever staying at home for an extended time as I would feel too insecure, even though I think my marriage is very good. On the other hand, you never know what life will throw at you.


    This is also an argument for a good pre/postnup. If you’re staying home and you haven’t got one, specifically one that deals with income division after divorce, get thee to a lawyer. I like the “equal standard of living” approach combined with some provision for college costs, strictly separate from any other provision (visitation, alimony, etc).



    Okay, I am biased on this one. I think both parents should have the capacity to support the family in case of disability, death, or divorce.

    I don’t know how these little quote things work, but I can sure relate to this. This is one of the things that has always driven me I think. My mother hadn’t worked in about 20 years when my father died (I was 11) and left her with 5 kids. It was to say the least really rough for her to get back into the work force and she could only get clerical work. (she put my dad through college and didn’t go herself) I also saw how she suffered during the marriage too without having any financial power and the lack of respect she received from my dad.

    In my own situation now too, with a partner that walked out on me just before our daughter was born, I’m sure glad I was in a decent job at the time.


    I think both parents should have the capacity to support the family in case of disability, death, or divorce.

    Er…not to diminish the benefits of keeping up one’s career while raising children, but disability and death are insurable events; frankly, I’d say both parents ought to be insured, even if one is SAH. If the SAH parent is disabled or dies, the breadwinner parent will still have to find care for the children, and it’s seldom free.

    I covered divorce above, and that’s something that a woman and her fiance ought to be talking about and settling legally well before the marriage. Romance is lovely, but it’s clearly not enough if fear of divorce sends people out to work when they want to be home with the kids.

    Working because you love your work or need the money, fine. Working when you’d rather stay home, but you’re afraid you’ll get caught with your pants down if something horrible happens in your life…this strikes me as largely preventable.



    As I said, I am biased on this one! It probably wouldn’t matter how much I knew would come to me in insurance money, I’d still feel I needed to work. Divorce of parents can make a BIG impression that way!


    I guess it can. My parents divorced when my brother and I were still young, but my father gave my mother something like 80% of the assets and some hefty alimony, on the presumption that a) he could make the money again; b) it’d take her a while to find work that could support her (she hadn’t finished her education and hadn’t worked outside the home in over a decade). He also offered to stay married until she’d gotten her bachelor’s degree, but she said no.

    I dunno. I understand the fear of not being able to find work — I did live through the early-90’s recession in a rust-belt state. But I also stayed employed that whole time, fighting pretty hard for jobs — you know, no job too menial or too far from my resume range. That plus learning how to live on almost nothing left me feeling that if there are jobs to be had, I can contend, regardless of resume gaps. Then again, it’s not important to me that I work in particular fields.


    You’re family was lucky your father was so generous/reasonable. I don’t think that’s the usual case unfortunately. My father had insurance but it wasn’t enough to pay off the mortgage or help any of us with school (and he worked in insurance so he should have known).

    Amy do you know if you include pension benefits in pre-nup agreements – that’s something that came up this week for a friend of mine with 3 kids whose husband of 30 years suddenly wants a divorce so that he can marry his new girlfriend. He is trying to get her to move out of their house, give up custody to the kids and sign over rights to his pension. Hopefully her lawyer is good. She has almost exclusively been a SAHM though keeping up with some volunteer work in a field related to her previous career. I know of a couple of other divorced SAHMs who were left in their fifties with no pension or savings, so I hope people are planning these things.

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