Inflexible, stressful and emotionally demanding jobs can undermine parenting confidence and contribute to emotional withdrawal from children, shows a new report from the think tank Demos. While educational background has little effect on parenting style, work conditions were shown to make an impact.
Although being employed was in general positive for parenting, the kind of work parents did had an impact. Work impacted negatively on parenting when it was characterised by inflexibility – in terms of hours and culture in the workplace. Importantly, parents in well-paid but highly stressful jobs experienced as much negative impact as those in mundane, low-paid and low-skill jobs, because of the lack of choice about working long hours and emotional demands of the workplace. The ability to be creative at work, as well as flexible with hours, had a positive impact on parenting.
Guilt associated with working difficult hours was found to damage parents’ self-confidence and