Leaving a child home alone can be a nightmare. As working parents, we might opt to leave our child with relatives to work or leave them back at home with domestic help or send them to a daycare centre.
If you are a working parent and have continued work after childbirth, then it might be easy for your child as well as you cope up with the situation until, one day you realize your child be behaving differently. Suddenly you feel that something might be wrong with your child that they are acting weird. But there is a lot that can stimulate your child’s behaviour.
I would like to share a small story here
Once my 8-month-old child was sick and was admitted to the hospital. As a mother, I was also accompanying her. Beside her bed was a child (around 8-12 years old). She was accompanied by her parents and an elder sister.
On the second day of hospitalization, I noticed that a group of doctors with a little girl in their arms is rushing inside the ward. The whole setup was disturbed as the new patient marked her presence in the room.
One of the senior doctors then arrived and inspected the whole situation. As the mother explained, they were from Guwahati and belongs to an affluent family. Suddenly one day the girl fainted in her school and while in the act she was mumbling something and after a while, she would gain consciousness again.
As this repeated for a couple of times they decided to take her to the best doctors in the southern part of India. However, they have performed all possible scans and have not landed into any conclusion. Finally, their flight took off from Guwahati. Within some time the girl had her fits again. Scared parents and crew members decided to land in Kolkata.
She was then rushed to the hospital. The senior doctor’s reaction was shocking, at least to me. After reporting of such shocking incidents and looking over the test reports, he concluded that she is clinically fine.
He meant to say that she is doing all this to attract the attention of her parents and near ones. The doctor even asked the parents about their lifestyle and if anything probably has happened to the child in their absence. He also said that a lack of parental attention can lead to such reactions when children grow up.
I don’t want to scare you, but aware you of the situation
As parents, we have several responsibilities to perform. And for fulfilling our commitments towards our family, we have to leave our children with relatives or someone else’s custody while we go to work. But with the current scenario, you must rethink your family life.
There can be two things you must rethink:
- Physical and mental abuse of your child
- The psychological effect of your absence
1. Physical and mental abuse
This is indeed scary! Even in our nightmare, we cannot imagine our child going through such circumstances. Such news is commonplace these days where even young children have abused physicals and mentally.
Even an act of neglect can create a feeling of sorrow in your child. The sad feeling can bear along with them and can affect them mentally ever after decades.
Until you are present with your child, you may not be sure what is going on with them. Leaving a child in a daycare looks somewhat safe as an option as daycare is legally bound to take all responsibilities of your child. But there are chances kids get exploited under such a secure environment as well.
The second option is to leave them with a domestic help or a baby sitter at home. In this case, you might be feeling a bit secured as you can monitor your child through video cameras laid inside your house. But what about protecting your child’s Psychological effect that is created by the absence of their life?
The last option is to leave them with relatives. Now if you are planning to leave your child with relatives while going to work, then the best option is to let them stay at home with close relatives like grandparents.
However, if you don’t have the privilege of leaving your child with their grandparents, then you must think twice. Your child may not feel safe when left with extended family members. The risk increases as the relationship expands.
However, you must clear all doubts which come to your mind or are raised by your child, even when you think they are in safe hands.
2. The psychological effect of your absence
A child, especially when they are young, need their mother the most. When a mother chooses to leave, a young child at home to work, that might give rise to a negative impact on them, which is created by your absence in your child’s life.
However, this may also happen that the accompanying guardians mitigate that gap and your child feels relaxed and happy even when you are not around. But you as a mother may conclude that your child no longer needs you emotionally after some time.
Simultaneously, you can raise a happy and confident child as a working mother if you align your responsibilities as a mother and your family values.
I was asked a question recently by a working parent
A working parent recently asked me that their 10-year-old child is behaving weird when they leave her with their relatives while going to work. They think that their child is nagging in front of them for no reason. They believe there is no such situation to think of as she is going through the same routine since her childhood, so why today she is behaving weirdly?
As children grow, with age, their demands, and emotional attachment changes. When this girl was a toddler, she did not have the chance to get attached to her mother and that continued for years. Now as she has attained 10 years of her life, she feels the emptiness of her parents in her life.
In the worst case, she might be fighting with some kind of abuse or intolerance which she is unable to express directly. And therefore, she is behaving abnormally.
As parents, you must take these as signals and never ignore thinking these are tantrums. She might also be psychologically disturbed about her importance in her parent’s life. She might miss you as she sees her friends when accompanies by their parents to school.
Communication is the key to keep such nightmares at bay. Talk to your child no matter how young they are and spend quality time with them as you return from work. Make sure not to indulge yourself with gadgets and don’t be mentally absent while spending time with your child.
If your child is behaving abnormally or if as parents you have an intuition about something wrong, follow your instincts before you leave your child with relatives to work, or for that matter with a domestic help or daycare center.
As parents, it is our responsibility to make our children feel that they are most precious and important to us. And even if we leave them back at home, it involves their future. And also ensure your child that you are the one they can completely trust upon as you will always love them no matter what they do in life.
If you find this article helpful, please write back to me as your engagement inspires me to write more.