The Problems of Dual Career Families



1. What are some issues you can see developing because of dual-career families? How is
this affecting children in such families?

Some issues our group feels are developing because of dual-career families are the
need for child care, scheduling conflicts, communication between parents, and a lack of
flexibility. Child care is a major concern in dual-career families. Families without relatives
or neighbors are often forced to rely on paid child care workers. Day care is a large part
of many family budgets. It is also an inconvenience for working parents who are forced
to shuffle back and forth between home and day care. Many businesses have responded
to this by providing day care services on the premises. This arrangement saves the parents
time and should the child become ill the parents are always close by. Scheduling conflicts
are also a major concern for working parents. It is necessary for parents to design their
schedules so as to permit family time and to allow parents to be there when the child needs
them. Communication between parents must be established. Children often need a parent
in an emergency, and if one parent is on a business trip, it is important to be able to get a
hold of the other. Communication also plays a role in solving scheduling conflicts. It has
been said that communication is the backbone of a working relationship. Communication
and a flexibility are necessary to share parental responsibilities. The ability to customize
the work schedule plays a major role in many business which employ young parents. Part
time work has become popular in this demographic group because of the flexibility it gives
young families. The business world has taken an active role in the employment of young
people, and in doing such has created a family friendly employment system.

2. How can newlywed couples minimize the problems of dual careers? What are the
advantages of dual careers? Disadvantages? How can a couple achieve the advantages
with a minimum number of problems?

Newlywed couples must plan for the future prior to having families. They must
talk about their career plans and decide who will be able to stay with the child and who
will be the breadwinner. They must plan how to communicate in the event of an
emergency. They must also know how they will schedule family time and who will take
care of the child if they both decide to work. Compromise will have to play a major role
in their lives. Dual careers have disadvantages, such as less family time, stress from work,
difficulty planning free time, and the possibilities of causing an unsuccessful marriage.
There are some advantages to dual careers. A larger income is important to a new family.
The satisfaction of working and being successful also plays a role in peoples decisions.
Another advantage of dual careers is the possibility for work benefits, such as health care
and pensions. Dual careers often allow parents to provide their children with a better
standard of living, while helping the parent to be happier. The best way for a couple to
minimize the problems in their dual careers is to find flexible work conditions and to
communicate and plan well.