EFFECT OF WORKING MOTHERS ON THE COGNITIVE AND PSYCHOSOCIAL DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN
Background of the Study
The importance of education in the development of both individual and community cannot be downplayed. Perhaps it is against the backdrop of this understanding that the aphorism is “no nation can develop beyond its educational system” came to be seen as the bedrock of every society (National Policy on Education, 2013). African continents is seen as developed because its educational system is one of the best in the world, while Nigeria as a nation is wallowing in underdevelopment because our educational system is in shamble. While the government should be blamed for the sorry state of the country’s education, a critical appraisal of the problem reveals that several other factors are responsible as well (NPE, 2013). One of these factors is parental styles and parental involvement Abayomi (2012). The foundation of education of the child is the pre-school education which forms an integral part of his or her early education which may be formal or informal and which is given in an educational institution to children aged 3 to 5 years plus prior to their entering into the primary school (National Policy on Education, 2013).
Over the years, patterns of family life are shifting. With the economic situation in the nation, mothers now leave home to hustle for continuous existence, both in rural and urban centers. Nigeria Bureau of Labour Statistics (2017) posited that more than half (56.4 percent) of mothers of infants in their first year of life and 66 percent of women with children under 3 were in the labour force in 2018. Complementing this, Osanyim (2018) observed that approximately about 80% of Nigerian families are in the labour force of one sort or another. This means working mothers today spend much time each work day away from their homes and children which could definitely take a toll on the children especially on their intelligence as submitted by Nersseria, Ahmad, and Naeema, (2018). Child care is provided in Nurseries or Creche or by a nanny or family childcare provider, caring for children in their own homes. It can also take on a more formal structure, with education, child development, discipline and even pre-school education falling into the fold of services.
Working mother can be defined as a woman with the ability to combine a career with the added responsibility of raising a child (Nersseria et. al., 2018). Within this broad term may be encompassed two different categories of working women: the stay at home mother who works from home and the woman who works away from home while managing to fulfill her maternal duties. Material aspirations and the necessities of daily life often compel both parents to work. A qualified woman may insist on working to maintain an effective career and be financially independent. The single working mother is a combination of these entities, working not only to run the family, but also maintaining her position as a financially independent head of the family (Carmen, 2013).
Priyanka and Devina (2010) opined that throughout history, women have been regarded as the weaker gender, both physically and intellectually. As a result, women’s roles tended to center around the home and raising children. Over time women have gradually entered the workforce and have gained increasingly prestigious positions. With more women currently in the workforce than ever before, fewer children are being raised by stay-at-home mothers and more are spending prolonged hours at childcare facilities. This exploratory study analyzed the cognitive and behavioral effects on children, in small Midwestern communities, that result from having mothers in the workforce during children’s early developmental years. A mother is particularly important not because she has special skills but because she is with her children for a much greater time than any other person and her instructions reflects a very strong influence on attitudes, abilities and behaviour of children. Most of those children who are successful and well-adjusted come from homes where parental attitudes are favorable and a wholesome relationship existed between children and parents (Priyanka and Devina, 2010). Mothers give her children love, affection and care since birth. Child-care has become a major issue in most of the countries of the world. It is a universal truth that children require the love of mother the most.
Human beings undergo processes of development from the moment of conception and this development is subjected to both qualitative and quantitative change. Quantitative change is a change in number or amount such as growth in height; weight, vocabulary, aggressive behavior or frequency of communication while qualitative change is a change in kind, structure or organization. Among domains of development are physical, cognitive which is change or stability in mental abilities such as learning, attention, memory, language, thinking, reasoning and creativity and psyco-social development which is change and stability in emotions, personality and social relationships (Papilla, olds and Feldman, 2003). There are three approaches to child development as stated by Papilla, et al (2003). These are the behaviourist approach, psychometric approach and Piagetian approach. According, to them, the behaviourist believes that babies are born with the ability to learn from what they see, hear, smell, taste and touch, and that they have some ability to remember what they learn. Piagetian approach is on cognitive stage theory. He described cognitive development as occurring in four qualitatively different stages which represent universal patterns of development. He viewed cognitive development as the product of children’s efforts to understand and act on their world.Psychometric approach is the approach to the study of cognitive development that seeks to measure the quantity of intelligence a person possesses and among the submission was that socioeconomic status, parenting practices and the home environment may affect intelligence (Caldwell and Bradley, 2014).
Osanyin (2018) opined that it is absolutely a very hard decision for a mother to select between working out of the home and staying home with the children. A mother should ask herself about main purpose of her working. She should compare her earning and the needs of children and home. She should know the financial position of her family. She has to decide whether she works for the support of family or she is just fond of working and she wants her name and fame. She might have acquired specialized certificated in particular field and she does not want to waste her talent. If such is the case, she should find a suitable job that saves time and energy and provides required financial assistance, name and fame. Shalala (2010) expressed that the situation of women in the current era is very difficult. They have to face many challenges. They are diverted in more directions. Some women put all their efforts to build their careers but others wait until their children become school ages. Some women have their own choice of employment while others are forced to work. Whether she is working or staying home does not matter if she pays more attention to children, spends quality time with children, shows genuine love for children and builds true relationship with each other.
Statement of the Problem
The absence of the mother at home often, particularly during the formative years of the child creates a lot of problem for the proper developments of the child cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally (Osayim, 2018). More so, when children are below school age, the effects are found to be more negative on the health of the child. The longer the hours of mothers at work according to her, the shorter the length and quality of interaction of the child.Studies have shown the negative effects on cognitive and psychosocial development at 6 months to 3 years when mothers go to work, however this have to be validated in Nigeria. Hence this study investigate the effect of working mothers on the cognitive and psychosocial development of their children in study of Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
Objectives of the Study
The main purpose of this study was to examine the effect of working mothers on the cognitive and psychosocial development of their children; A case study of Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. The specific objectives were to:
- investigate the effect of working mother’s on cognitive development of child in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.
- examine the effect of working mother on psychosocial development of child in the study area.
- find out the effect of working mothers on general wellbeing of child in the study area.
The following questions were raise to guide the study;
- What are the effects of working mother’s on cognitive development of child in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State?
- Is there any effect of working mother on psychosocial development of child in the study area?
- Does working mothers have effects on general wellbeing of child in the study area?
Significance of the Study
The work of this nature when completed may help the working mothers’ to be aware of the effect of their job on the cognitive and psychosocial development of their children and how such affect the child positively or negatively. They will be able to adopt measures of bringing up their children in such a way that they will perform well academically. Similarly, it is likely to encourage parents to make their children relatively comfortable at home or in schools by providing necessary education and social material to support their wards and by assisting them with their homework.
More so, educational and curriculum planners could be guided in planning the curriculum without rigidity to suit diverse cultural environments. In addition, the teachers would be aware that a cordial teachers/parents relationship may in one way or the other improve role of parental styles in early reading skills of pre-school pupils. Finally, the research when completed may add to available literature and may encourage further research on the topic.
Scope of the Study
This study investigate the effect of working mothers on the cognitive and psychosocial development of their children; A case study of Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State, due to time limit for this research work, this study is limited to public primary schools in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State and teachers would be sample for this research work.
Definition of Terms
Preschool: A preschool is an educational establishment or learning space offering early childhood education to children between the ages of three and five
Influence: This is the power to affect somebody’s character, benefits or action through example.
Family: This refers to a social unit consisting of parents and their children.
Parent: This refers to the one who has begotten offspring or occupies the role of mother or father.
Child: Biologically, a child (plural: children) is a human being between the stages of birth and puberty. The legal definition of child generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger than the age of majority.
Permissive: Permissive parenting, also known as indulgent parenting is another potentially harmful style of parenting. These parents are responsive but not demanding. These parents tend to be lenient while trying to avoid confrontation.
Reading Skills:is defined as an ability to read and write from pre-school pupils, understanding of printing awareness, letters, hand writing etc.
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