Parental role

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Richard Lucas (Letters, 5 April) asks: “Should the government be encouraging mothers to work instead of being at home with their children?” I would counter just why exactly should it be the mother staying at home? Why not the father?

During the Depression, most men in Dundee were unemployed, while their wives worked in the jute mills and referred to their stay-at-home husbands as “tea bilers”. The children were none the worse for it.

John Lennon stayed out of the music scene for five years to concentrate on bringing up his son Sean, having learned from the mistake of never being there for Julian during his formative years. How many other fathers have also made that commitment?

That apart, there are single mothers working for many reasons, including those who have fled abusive relationships, those who have been abandoned by their spouses, and those whose husbands have died. Is that the fault of the mothers who work for the welfare of their children?

And what of those parents who send their children to boarding schools? Just how exactly are those children benefiting from parental input? Many parents of both genders work through sheer necessity to make ends meet and give their children the best start they can afford. That necessity is created by those who support and vote for governments who currently cut back services and favour traditionalist family roles, including mothers staying at home.

Leslie John Thomson

Moredunvale Green

Edinburgh

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