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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 ― Having two jobs does not bode well for the family institution, say family therapists.

UnknownUniversiti Malaya consultant psychiatrist Assoc Prof Dr Subash Kumar Pillai said it would be difficult for parents to juggle two demanding jobs as they might have difficulties coping with the workload.“Parents with two jobs will feel over-burdened and weary in trying to balance work and family. If parents bring their frustrations home, it can have an impact on their children and develop a negative attitude towards their parents,” he said.

He was commenting on a report that Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan had encouraged those in the low-income group to work two jobs as it was one way to cope with the rising cost of living. “It’s not making things better by getting another job, it will make things worse especially in terms of time spent with family,” said Dr Subash Kumar.

He also said having two jobs to address the rising cost of living could place a strain between parents and their children.While having two jobs can generate more income, the family could spend the money hiring someone to care for their children. Dr Subash Kumar said effective communication was important for parents to understand their children better. “When parents are not there to listen to the children’s grouses, it can create a negative atmosphere as the children may feel their parents are not interested in their lives,” he said.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia counselling centre senior psychology officer Zulfikar Ahmad said having two jobs was not a bad idea as long as it did not affect quality time with the family.“Jobs like freelancers or insurance agents would best fit parents who want two jobs because they do not require a lot of commitment,” he said.He said quality time with family was essential for children’s development and well-being.

Zulfikar said having two jobs could have a negative consequence for parents, especially single parents.”It is not good for single mothers to experience excessive stress, as two jobs can be hectic,” he said.For working adults who cared for their parents, Zulfikar said while it was their responsibility to do so, juggling two jobs lessened quality time.Marriage and family therapist Christine Maryanna Gabriel said having two jobs could have a detrimental effect on a child’s welfare.

“Most children need serious attention, especially infants, while different age groups require different attention,” she said.Gabriel said it was crucial for parents with teenage children to build relationships that provided emotional support. “I think it’s going to be a challenge for parents who have two jobs. It has more cons than pros,” she said.

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