Poor Diet and Sedentary Kids
There have been several studies to suggest that when moms work, their children are at greater risk for poor diets and more sedentary lifestyles, so they therefore have a greater tendency toward childhood obesity. Another study conducted at American University has found that third grade children experience approximately a one pound gain in excess weight for every six months their mother works. The link became stronger as children matured into fifth and sixth grades. The implication is not that moms leave the workforce, stresses author Taryn Morrissey, but that there should be more policies in place to protect families of working mothers such as greater access to child care, healthier foods in schools and more flexible work schedules.
Freud Was Right
Good mothering is critical for the healthy development of children. Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 56 percent of all child abusers are women. The most common form of abuse is psychological. Dr. Philip Muskin of Columbia University says that “Neglect and emotional abuse are every bit as damaging as sexual abuse.” Constant criticism or withholding affection affects academic achievement, social growth, and self-worth, even into adulthood. The most vulnerable years are during infancy and toddlerhood, when mom is the primary nurturer. Learning to move forward from a painful past is difficult, but not impossible. The key is to get social support from others early.