Corporate America has destroyed parenthood. Decades ago, it was common for children to grow up in a stable, nurturing environment where they had the undivided attention of at least one parental figure. Kids were taught by their parents how to have common sense and they learned valuable life skills from their relatives.
I acknowledge that no generation has grown up without challenges, but having an involved parent helped these children to overcome their hardships. As the economy expanded, Corporate America forced parents to often forsake time with their children to keep up with finances.
The nine-to-fives, daycare facilities and nannies became the new norms to Americans, causing familial separation. Overworked parents have no time to spend with their children to form a bond. It gets even worse with single-family households.
Our economy punishes single families harshly. A single parent will usually hold 2 to 3 jobs to provide for their family, leaving them with no time to be a parent. They miss many milestones in their children’s lives to the point that the parent and child grow apart.
According to John Bowlby a British psychologist, parent-child bond impacts child behavior and how they interact with the rest of the world. For example, a child who has no bond with their overworked parents will struggle to form relationships and friendships later in life because the concept is foreign to them. On average, American children tend to have less family bonding time than in other countries due to the overbearing demands of Corporate America.
The average maternity leave period in the United States is 12 weeks of job protection. Some employers pay mothers during these 12 weeks and some don’t. Realistically speaking, 12 weeks isn’t enough for a mother to bond with her newborn. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention encourages mothers to breastfeed their newborns for one year so they can develop a stronger immune system. The 12 weeks of job protection is significantly less than that of countries in Europe, which recieve 6 months to a year of paid maternity leave.
Many studies prove that the more time children have with their parents leads to better outcomes in their later lives. According to the National Institute of Health, children who grow up without spending much time with their parents are more likely to develop depression, struggle with their social relationships and have lower school performance.
The economy plays a huge role in how parents interact with their children. During the 2008 financial crisis, cases of child abuse have skyrocketed. Many parents lost their jobs and life savings and often took their anger out on their children. According to a 2013 study that was published in the scientific journal Child Abuse & Neglect, the 2008 economic crisis was associated with worse parenting behaviors.
More parents reported that they had gotten physical with their children at that particular time. These poor parental behaviors are influenced by the huge amount of stress that corporate America places on working parents. The abuse may occur a few times but it usually lasts forever in children and impacts the rest of their future.