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Harvard Research Finds Working Mothers Raise Successful Daughters And Empathetic Sons

Harvard Research Finds Working Mothers Raise Successful Daughters And Empathetic Sons

There are many posts on the Internet which urge working moms to feel less guilty about how they are raising their kids — they seem to be doing better than some may think. This has been confirmed by a Harvard study which involved 50,000 children of career women from 25 countries. Researchers found that there were considerable benefits for kids raised by working mothers. The study included women who were working part-time in addition to full-time professionals.

The study found that these children were more accepting of non-traditional gender-role models in the home setting. Later, this contributed to daughters being more successful in the workplace in supervisory roles and sons who were more empathetic. Here are six reasons why these sons and daughters are more successful at work and at home.

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1. Sons understand how gender roles have evolved

Both sons and daughters learn that a working mother is perfectly normal and that the woman’s role is not necessarily that of a housewife. In fact, according to the Office of National Statistics in the UK, the number of stay-at-home moms has decreased by more than 33 per cent in the last twenty years. Sons begin to understand that they too have a role to play in the running of the household. Later in life, they contribute more in childcare and in managing the home because of this early life lesson. In fact, the Harvard study shows that these men are spending twice the amount of time on childcare — 16 hours a week compared to the 8.5-hour norm.

2. Sons are likely to be more empathetic

Sons learn from an early age to pitch in and help out with household chores when their mother is away from the home. This makes them more sensitive to the needs of others. They will never wonder what stay-at-home mothers do all day. They are more likely to grow up being empathetic and caring, becoming better partners and parents themselves. There is no need to separate masculine from feminine qualities. A parent will teach their sons that there are only human qualities. The family with a working mom finds it easier to instil empathy in their boys.

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3. Sons are more likely to marry a working mother

Other studies show that sons brought up by working mothering are more likely to have wives who work. The reason behind this is that the sons have a less traditional view of mothering because they grew up in a home where working and mothering was seamless. They are much more likely to be supportive and helpful when their own wives work.

4. Daughters have a positive role model to follow

Instead of worrying obsessively about how much actual time they spend with their daughters, working moms should reflect on how they are setting a positive example of gender equality and success. Daughters are inspired by the example and have no qualms about their own careers when they marry.

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5. Daughters have more supervisory roles

The Harvard study found that daughters of working mothers were more likely to be successful and had more supervisory roles than those women brought up by stay-at-home moms. Twenty-five per cent of daughters of stay-at-home moms were in supervisory roles compared to 33 per cent of daughters of working mothers. These women were much more confident in holding down dual roles than their colleagues. The reason is that they had an excellent example to follow from an early age.

6. Daughters are earning more

The daughters of working mothers earn up to 23 per cent more (in the USA) than their counterparts and are better placed to gain more senior positions. That makes a difference of $7,000 annually in the USA. The reason is that these women are motivated from an early age to follow their own career choices, just like their own mothers. This is a crucial factor in their success.They were also taught to be independent and autonomous from an early age, as their mothers never had the time to indulge in helicopter parenting.

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Long live women’s right to choose when it comes to working or staying at home. If they choose the former, they should relax and know that that their choice will have a beneficial impact on their sons and daughters. It is high time to change the stereotypes and recognize quality parenting is much more complex than many people imagine.

Featured photo credit: Dad helping Ricky while Sara looks on/Joshua Blount via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

11 Tips for Maintaining a Positive Attitude Every Day

11 Tips for Maintaining a Positive Attitude Every Day

Maintaining a positive attitude is critical when you want to achieve anything or simply improve the quality of your life. Most success literature will talk about the power of positive thinking and how important it is, but it’s often easier said than done.

In this article, you’ll find 11 tips for maintaining your positive attitude no matter what’s going on in your life.

1. You Determine Your Reality

It’s important to realize that you determine your reality by the way you react to the outside world. When something happens, you get to choose whether it’s a positive or negative situation and react accordingly.

For example, if you lose your job, your first reaction will likely be one of anger, frustration, and hopelessness. However, what if you were able to turn those emotions around and look at that experience as an opportunity.

You now have the chance to find a job where you will be able to learn new skills and perhaps even be happier. And in the meantime, you have some free time to analyze what direction you want the next stage of your life to go in.

2. Start Your Day Strong

Most people have to drag themselves out of bed, and this sets a negative state of mind for their entire day. Positive people create a long-term morning ritual that reinforces how great life is and how happy they are to be alive.

I used to wake up and immediately turn on Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life to get me into a positive mood. Now I start my day by reading or listening to something positive. Whether you have 1 minute, 15 minutes, or an hour to dedicate to your ritual, you can start the day in a way that helps you feel relaxed and ready for the day ahead.

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Cultivate a positive attitude with a great morning routine.

    3. Exercise Is the Natural Feel-Good Drug

    Exercise is a great way to maintain a good attitude because of all the positive chemicals it releases into the bloodstream.

    One study found that between groups who participated in high-intensity interval training, moderate continuous training, and no exercise, those in the second group experienced the greatest drop in depressive symptoms and stress[1]. Therefore, if you’re looking to exercise to help you feel good, get your heart rate up, but don’t push too hard or you may increase overall stress.

    Also, remember that exercise can include many activities. If you don’t like running, try dancing or kickboxing instead. Put on some upbeat music to kick up the positive vibes even more.

    4. Use Books, Audio and Videos to Overload Your Brain with Positivity

    There are millions of amazing books, podcasts, and videos for you to absorb from people who are inspiring and living the life of their dreams. Tap into their positive emotions and their experience by learning how they think and what they do to create the lives they want.

    You can do this in the morning or while exercising, eating, commuting, cooking, cleaning… there’s always time for positivity.

    5. Your Language Shapes Your Thoughts

    Little changes in your language can change the way you think and how you act. Whenever someone greets you and asks how you’re doing, do you answer with “fine” or “not too bad”? Think about just what this language is communicating to others… and yourself.

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    I always answer with “great,” “fantastic,” or “amazing.” Not only does this remind me that life really is great, but it usually helps the other person shift toward a positive attitude as well.

    Also, take some time to look at the way your inner voice talks to you. Is that language positive or negative? If it’s overly critical or negative, it may be time to tap into some mindfulness meditation in order to shift your inner critic to an inner cheerleader.

    6. Hang out With Positive People

    It is often said that you will have a similar level of health, income and lifestyle as the five people you spend the most time with.

    So if you want to be fit, then start to hang out with fit people. Want to start a business? Then hang out with business owners. And if you want to be positive, make sure you’re hanging out with positive people[2].

    7. Show Your Appreciation for Others

    By appreciating others for a job well done, their outfit, or their smile, you start to cause a positive chain reaction. Stop complaining and focus on all the good others are doing around you.

    Don’t you feel great when you receive a compliment from someone else? Well, if you want to receive more, then start giving them out and watch what happens to the people around you.

    One particular study found that people who sent letters of gratitude experienced significant increases in happiness scores[3]. If you don’t feel like writing a letter, send a nice text to someone who recently helped you out, or send an email thanking your coworker for always helping pick up the slack around the office. Whatever it is, take some time to show gratitude.

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    8. Garbage In, Garbage Out

    This is an expression from programming where the result is only as good as the input. If you’re feeding yourself with negativity all day long, then it’s pretty obvious you’re going to be feeling negative as well.

    A great deal of the media thrives on negativity. Put yourself on a negativity diet (including people) and watch how much easier it is to maintain your positive attitude.

    9. Stop Negative Thoughts in Their Tracks

    It’s hard to be a constantly positive person, and negative thoughts are going to bubble up from time to time. These will be more frequent in the beginning but can decrease as you practice the tips we’re talking about. When you start to notice negative thoughts, you can use a pattern interrupt to stop them in their tracks.

    The idea is to interrupt your current thought pattern and shift to a more positive outlook. One way to do this is to set a visual or auditory cue. It can be something as simple as a bracelet you wear each day or the sound of a car passing outside your window. Whenever you see or hear the cue, use it to shift your thoughts to something positive.

    You can learn more on how to shift your mindset and negative attitudes in the following video:

    10. Live With Gratitude

    So many positive things happen during our day, and we often ignore them while letting one negative comment or event ruin our mood. It can help to keep a gratitude journal where you jot down things you are grateful for each night or during the day.

    If you’re reading this, then you probably live with a roof over your head and food in your belly, which is a daily struggle for a large portion of the world. However, we often take these things for granted and don’t realize just how great we have it.

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    Try refocusing your thoughts towards everything you do have instead of what you don’t. One study found that reflecting on past experiences with a sense of gratitude can lead to increases in both hope and happiness[4]. That’s a great reason to give it a go today.

    You can find more ways to practice gratitude in this article.

    11. Recharge Your Batteries

    One key to adopting a positive attitude is taking the time to recharge your batteries. This might mean taking a few hours on the weekend to read a positive book or taking a few weeks for a holiday.

    If you’re not in the position to travel, you can take a staycation, or have a “home holiday” where you simply switch off from the outside world and spend time doing things you love.

    Final Thoughts

    You now have 11 tips for maintaining your positive attitude, but they are no use to you unless you implement them into your life.

    Start small, and pick the easiest tip or the one that you really love and introduce it into your life starting right now. Then, over time, start implementing the other tips and watch your positivity soar.

    More Tips About Staying Positive

    Featured photo credit: Pepe Cast Zam via unsplash.com

    Reference

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