I am a full time working mum with 2 young boys ages 5 and below. The first one requires lots of attention as he is very clingy, has low self-esteem and is difficult to handle. Should i quit my job to take care of them? - Seedly

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Asked by Anonymous

Asked on 04 Oct 2018

I am a full time working mum with 2 young boys ages 5 and below. The first one requires lots of attention as he is very clingy, has low self-esteem and is difficult to handle. Should i quit my job to take care of them?

The alternative carers of my boys are strong proponents of corporal punishment but I don’t think it helps. In my line, I doubt I will be able to get back into my industry if I were to leave it for 3 years. I have adequate savings for about 3-5 years of expenses. My husband can earn just enough to cover current expenses plus a little savings if we do not travel.

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Goh Ah Mao
Goh Ah Mao
Level 4. Prodigy
Updated on 07 Jun 2019

A few questions / comments to help you make your decision:

  1. work. How are your current hours like? Any possibility of going part time? What are future prospects like in your company and in your industry. This will help you decide if you should (I) look for a new company or stay and ask for better working hours (II) stop work and go into a different industry

  2. Caregivers. Are you able to change the caregivers to childcare, helpers or another set of relatives who may be more aligned with your discipline style? Are you able to change the minds of these existing caregivers through research, education? Can you find propose activities for the kids to do while being minded so as to cut down on bad behaviour when being looked after? What is your ideal parenting situation? Are you able to see yourself as a SAhM?

  3. Savings / investments. You have 3-5 years of savings. Where are you right now in terms of ability to invest? Are you able to stretch to more than 3-5 years?

  4. husband’s career. What is his career like? Able to increase pay or is already stagnant? Is his temperament suited to be sole breadwinner?

  5. what if? What if you do stay at home? Are you able to cope with cooking, cleaning and looking after the kids? What are your expectations of your husnand when he comes home from work? does he need to help you After he comes home? How much discretionary expenses can you cut away if you do decide to stay at home.

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Leong Wen Fong
Leong Wen Fong

05 Oct 2018

Very thought provoking answer!
Lee Jiahui
Lee Jiahui
Level 5. Genius
Answered on 04 Oct 2018

There are only a few options

  • childcare, for more social interaction and discipline

  • if already in childcare, change childcare environment to see if behaviour improves, sometimes the environment influences the behaviour

  • maid, but can make matters worse

  • maybe get assessment to see if there are any behavioural/developmental issues.

Quitting your job won't solve the problem, i.e. the problem isn't because you are not taking care of them, it's likely something else

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HC Tang
HC Tang, Financial Enthusiast, Budgeting at The Society
Level 8. Wizard
Answered on 04 Oct 2018

One of my relative shared with me that her boy were also more clingy when he was 2 years old, it's ok as they are still kids, it is natural. When he was 2 years old, he doesn't talk and was slow in development and learning new things. He's not used to stranger and always just stay home around and stick to mummy like glue, which explains why the low self-esteem and hence easily get emotional.

I don't think corporal punishment at this stage helps much, as the kids think and respond differently these days and they don't know how to express themselves yet. With Internet, we have much more resources and knowledge available at our hands more than ever. We can read more on how to handle clingy younger kids.

As later on my relative had no choice due to living cost vs income, they had to send their clingy, low self-esteem , quiet (because don't know how to talk / express himself yet) boy, to preschool for group life and learning. The first week all he does was to cry and refuse to go into the preschool door/gate everyday. However, after a week as he got used to loving teachers and met new friends of similar ages, he slowly started to open up and learn to socialize and play with other kids, learned to talk and express himself, slowly learned to eat by using spoon etc. He's now 4 and more open now, talks a lot and ask a lot of questions. He still has some scary cat mentality, but he is no longer clingy and have better self-esteem. All that we know is that, he's growing up, open up and learning fine :)

I guess we all able to live and learn when being put into a spot. We're adaptable by nature, just a matter of learning fast or slow. Since in your line it's hard to come back after sabbatical for 3 years, though your husband income can afford the whole family expenses. It is still best that you continue to work, but find flexi work place, leave sharp to go pick up the kids from school back home, and spend the night together as a family. It is more fulfilling this way besides knowing that they are in good hands learning to be sociable in school, while you'll still able to have a career and enjoy some social life. This is also important that with two income, the family can plan better financial for the family not just only for vacations but also for emergency cash, future planning, retirement investment, the fees for kids future tuitions etc.

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