Is it better for Children to be Raised by Stay at Home Parents – No

The question of whether it is better for children to be raised by stay at home parents is an unfair question. Is it better for children to be raised by parents who are available to them when they need a parent? Yes. Is it better for children to be raised by parents who give them attention and who listen to them? Yes. Is it better for children to be raised by parents who make the time to follow their school career and other activities? Yes. Is it necessary to be a stay at home parent to achieve these things? No.

Each family is unique; therefore, the answer to this question is a family-by-family answer. In addition, it is not the fact the parent stays at home that makes him or her a good parent. Therefore, it is also not the fact that a parent works outside the home that makes him or her a bad parent.

In our family, my daughter needed me at home. She began daycare when she turned two, and adjusted well. However, she did not deal well with spending the whole day in daycare and coming home to a mom who was busy cooking and cleaning. I had to stop working outside the home after a short time to meet her needs. She continued to attend day care, but because she did not spend as much time in day care and because I was more available when I brought her home, she was a happier child.

My daughter did not need me to be a stay at home parent; she just needed me to be more available. I could have worked part-time and she would have been happy just the same. Last September my daughter entered first grade. For the first few months, my mother or I picked her up from school every day. However, she saw her friends go off to after school daycare and did not rest until she was able to go with them. She spent most of the year going to daycare after school and on school holidays by her own choice.

My son, on the other hand, is naturally a more outgoing and independent child. He is happy to spend all day at day care, although he does not. He began daycare at one year old because when I dropped off his sister he wanted to stay too. On his first day, he bounded into the room and never looked back.

When my children are sick, I am available to stay at home with them. When they come home from school, I am home. When they have activities, I take them. However, even thought I do not work outside the home, I have other responsibilities as well, and do not always make it to the school meetings. I have missed school meetings. I have asked grandparents to pick up the children. Just because I am a stay at home parent does not mean that I am 100% available to my children. I am more available than someone who has a very time demanding job, but I am not necessarily more available that someone who has a part time job.

What is important in raising children is how you balance your needs with theirs. It is not the amount of time you spend at home with them, but that when you receive a call from daycare or school, you can respond to your child’s need within a reasonable amount of time. This can be achieved many different ways, not just by being a stay at home parent.