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Parents, it doesn't matter whether you spend all day with your kids or not.

“Parents, it’s time to give yourselves a break.”

Parents, it doesn’t matter whether you spend all day with your kids or not.

Did you get that? It DOESN’T MATTER.

Working parents – it’s time to give yourselves a break.

That shadow of guilt that follows you out the door every morning as you leave for work?

Yeah, you can let go of that now…

Contrary to popular opinion and what your father says, your kids will be OK, grow up well-adjusted and still feel loved, whether you’re at home with them all day – or not.

“Your kids will be OK, grow up well-adjusted and still feel loved, whether you’re at home with them all day – or not.”

New ground-breaking research from a study in the US and Canada has revealed that what matters most is not how many hours parents – particularly mothers – spend with their children but rather how engaged parents are when they’re with their kids.

That’s right. Quality over quantity.

Related: Working mothers can (and should) have all the cake.

Great news for working parents, right?

The study, to be published in the April Journal of Marriage and Family, shows there are no lasting effects on children aged 3-13 years old if they don’t have a lot of time with their Mums and Dads.

But that finding changed significantly once children hit 13 years old.

“There are no lasting effects on children aged 3-13 years old if they don’t have a lot of time with their Mums and Dads.”

Teenagers were more likely to stay out of trouble, when they have an extended number of engaged contact time with their parents, the study found.

Melissa Milkie, co-author of the report, told The Washington Post that “the amount of time doesn’t matter, but these little pieces of time do.”

Related: Proof that working mums are more productive than any other employee.

The study, which investigated children’s behaviour, emotional health and academic achievement, also concluded that spending too much time with your kids – especially if you’re a little stressed out – can be detrimental to mothers and children alike.

Don’t feel bad to leave your kids with the nanny. It won’t do them any harm.

“Mothers’ stress, especially when mothers are stressed because of the juggling with work and trying to find time with kids, that may actually be affecting their kids poorly,” Co-author of the report, Kei Nomaguchi, a sociologist at Bowling Green State University, told The Washington Post.

Milkie’s advice to parents? Don’t count the hours…

By the way, Mamamia has birthed a parenting podcast. Hosted by Andrew Daddo and Holly Wainwright, it’s the place to talk about parenthood as it really is: Exciting, overwhelming, delightful, disastrous and often very messy. Listen to it, here:

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