New study: parents who work nightshifts or weekends damage their children

The UK Telegraph reports on a new study.


The 24/7 economy is damaging children, a study has concluded, with youngsters more likely to suffer developmental and behavioural problems if their parents work unsociable hours.

Children of parents who work nightshift and weekends were found to have poorer language, reading and mathematics skills and were more likely to be overweight or obese.

By adolescence, they were also more likely to be depressed and to have abuse drugs and alcohol.

The comprehensive review, led by Jianghong Li, a senior researcher from WZB Berlin Social Science Center, looked back at 30 years of research comparing parents’ work schedules with their children’s development.

21 out of 23 reviewed studies showed weekend and nightshifts damaged child development.

Authors found that working unsociable hours: “has negative consequences for the developing child with regards to mental health and behavioural problems, cognitive development, being overweight and obesity.”

The impact was worse for pre-school children who were up to 35 per cent more likely to have developmental problems.

Why would parents have to work so much? Well, it might be materialism and consumerism. But it might also be caused by policies of the secular left, like high tax rates, the marriage penalty, etc. The secular left is very much against marriage and they do not like the idea that a man will be able to provide for a family and keep his wife home to raise them when they are very young.

It’s not just nightshift and weekend shifts, either. Previously, I wrote about another Oxford University study on daycare that was featured in the UK Telegraph.


Academics at Oxford University discovered that exposure to some forms of early education contributed to bad behaviour and could be linked to emotional problems.

The study, based on an analysis of infants from almost 1,000 families, showed that the strongest influence on children came from within the home itself.

Children raised in poor families with high levels of parental stress or mental health problems were most at risk of developing emotional problems by the time they started school, it emerged.

The research also uncovered trends relating to children who were in formal child care — away from their parents.

[…]The report, published in the journal Child: Care, Health and Development, said that “children who spent more time in group care, mainly nursery care, were more likely to have behavioural problems, particularly hyperactivity”.

The study, led by Prof Alan Stein, of Oxford’s Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, found that “spending more time in day care centres, over the total period was a predictor of total problem scores”.

“Children who spent more time in day care centres were more likely to be hyperactive,” it said. “Children receiving more care by childminders were more likely to have peer problems.”

The authors added: “The findings in relation to childminding suggest that it might be out of home care rather than group care that raises the risk of behavioural difficulties.”

[…]The study said: “These findings suggest that interventions to enhance children’s emotional and behavioural development might best focus on supporting families and augmenting the quality of care in the home.”

My point in posting these studies is to show that what what children really need in order to do well are their parents. They need time from their parents to talk to them and do activities with them. They need input and guidance from their parents. Any time you here left-wing feminist politicians talking about how we need to push to have children, especially very young children, educated by experts, you need to keep in mind that they don’t have the facts to back up their idea. People who push these plans push them because they want women to behave like men and work outside the home. They also want to boost tax revenues by making bother parents work more.

Everyone knows that parents who are careful about who they marry and careful about staying married will have more successful children than those who don’t marry before having kids, or who don’t prepare for marriage themselves, or who don’t marry someone with the skills to do their roles in the marriage. But people on the left want to reverse that – they want everyone’s children to be “equal” regardless of what decisions the parents make. And they want to do this by redistributing wealth (not character) from parents who succeed to parents who fail. So when you hear this “equality” crowd talking about the need to replace incompetent parents with taxpayer-funded government bureaucrats, you need to keep studies like the ones above in mind.

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2 thoughts on “New study: parents who work nightshifts or weekends damage their children”

  1. I would say (and this bolsters your point) that it isn’t the times parents work that are this issue, but the gulf formed between children and their parents in the process.

    Two examples. One, is my own upbringing. I grew up on a farm, so obviously work was done when it needed to be done. If that meant milking cows at 6 am and 6 pm, or cutting hay until there was no more light to see, it was done. However, my siblings and I were very much a part of all this, not only working alongside our parents, but contributing to our family’s needs. When money was tight, both my mother and father would take contract jobs – home care or carpentry and the like. Compare that to a classmate. She had a stay at home mom and her dad worked outside the home. I asked her one day what her father did. She had no idea.

    The other example is some home schooling families I know. Both parents have jobs (or, in rarer cases, a single parent), but would do things like have one work from home, stagger their shifts, one works weekends, the other works weekdays, etc. Because home schooling allows for flexibility in schedules, the parents could bring in pay checks *and* spend time with their children.

    I know families who work all kinds of shifts and have their kids in public school and still manage to spend time with their children. It takes a lot of motivation, and it’s not easy, but it was a priority. I also know families where one parent is home but spent their time on anything but their children (one mother I recall was so obessed with cleaning her house, she would send her daughter outside all day, pretty much unattended, then as soon as the daughter came inside, the mother immediately had her strip out of her clothes by the door, then take a bath!).


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