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But there is something else to consider seriously. I meet many parents who would opt to stay at home if they had the opportunity. Luckily there are legal arrangements today to help parents and I am glad to see that most organisations follow. Family friendly measures provide that chance to parents to find a good balance. But if we want to be fair in our review here, we must also consider the fate of parents if they do not return to work. That condition brings along serious consequences which will enhance anxiety in parents; a major culprit in not-good-enough parenting. Anxious parents are less responsive to emotional needs and generally show less concentration in their parenting role. Anxious parents also transmit anxiety in their interactions to their children as they are more tense and laboured.
According to Eurostat figures published in 2016, Malta has the second highest cost of living in EU. A report issued by the European Commission has identified low working intensity in families to be the primary source of poverty in society. This means that without work you fall beneath the poverty line. There is not much debate about that! As parents negotiate a return to employment they must inevitably consider what the absence of a salary will do to their life. It has become the social norm today to find dual working couples which design their standard of living in accordance with their combined revenue. Halving that revenue may sometimes lead the family to a significant loss of standard, drastic changes in lifestyle and occasionally risk of poverty as well. Therefore, not returning to work would translate in an important disservice to your family as basic needs become unmet. This matter becomes more complicated when one considers a single parent household where the full economic burden falls onto one person.

– Steve Libreri is a social worker and parent coach within Willingness. He offers parent coaching and social work sessions. He can be contacted on steve@willingness.com.mt.