Workplace incivility associated with negative parenting behaviour

on 14 August 2018
Naughty boy, naughty mother

It is pretty well known that the worst thing to be, when someone has had a bad day at work, is the family cat! Apparently, the kids don’t fare too well either . . . 

They abuse me, I abuse you!

Over my years as a therapist, I have seen many clients who were at the wrong end of workplace abuse or bullying, which can also involve bad treatment by fellow workers. What was also apparent, in most cases, was that their own childhood experience was a factor in the way they respond to similar behavioural exposure.

That has been more apparent in Singapore because it seems, there is less employee protection than in other countries, e.g. the UK, Eu, US or Australia. For sure there is some mechanism for dealing with employee matters but according to many, who have used it, they felt let down or were not satisfied with the outcome. Many do not even take up an issue with the authorities, they have said, "there is no point," citing bias towards an employer. This particular research is interesting and useful as it seeks, in the future, ways to help mothers to cope better in the face of workplace abuse. However, hypnotherapy has a long history in helping people to deal better with life issues as they arise and, onwards to that, to discover behavioural strategies and traits that minimise them happening in the first place. You obviously don’t have to deal with a problem that never develops into one!

It is also worth noting that there does not appear to be any evidence, that the researchers looked into the past of each mother, e.g. were they the children of mothers who had such a workplace experience? I have had many clients over the years who said, “I promised myself that I would never treat my children, the way my parents treated me!” Of course, many ended up doing exactly that. History has a habit of repeating itself! The most common reason for such behaviour is a sense of unrequited love. “If I behave like my mother/father, maybe they will love me!” We need to be loved (not so much in the romantic or sexual sense) and will often go to great lengths to be so. Many in fact will, in the pursuit of that love, behave in ways that actually push it further away from them.

One of the best ways to discover how to find love, and bring it into our lives, evolves out of the hypnotherapy experience. The very circumstances that prevent us from having and experiencing love, come from the way our brain and mind processed our early experiences of life. When we were young and developing we just did not have the ability or the tools to do a better job, we did the best we could, with what we had; it just wasn’t enough! The important thing to note is that we have everything we need to make the most of our lives, all we need is the exposure to discover how to bring that about. Hypnotherapy is, without a doubt, the most effective way to discover that inner power that we all possess; yet few ever discover. Now, may just be your time to make that discovery?

My objective here is to help people understand how and why we become illogically trapped into emotional experiences that may actually be happening but for reasons different to what we would imagine! If you want to know more about how Hypnotherapy why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation?

For more information on the Free Consultation - Go Here Or, to book your Free Consultation today, you can do so here

The Research: 

When people are rude to their coworkers or treat them badly, they probably don't realise the unintended victims in that encounter could be the co-workers' children. Women who experience incivility in the workplace are more likely to engage in stricter, more authoritarian parenting practices that can have a negative impact on their children, according to research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

"These findings reveal some previously undocumented ways that women, in particular, suffer as a result of workplace aggression," said researcher Angela Dionisi, PhD, of Carleton University. "In uncovering how this mistreatment in the workplace interferes with positive mother-child interactions, this research also speaks to a previously unacknowledged group of indirect incivility victims, namely children."

Workplace incivility is any behaviour that is rude, disrespectful, impolite or otherwise, violates workplace norms of respect. This behaviour shows a lack of concern for others, according to co-author Kathryne Dupre, PhD, of Carleton University. Some examples of workplace incivility include ignoring or making derogatory remarks about someone, taking credit for the work of others, passing blame for your own mistakes, avoiding someone or shutting people out of a network or team.

"We now know, based on much empirical evidence, that the outcomes of workplace incivility are vast and negative," said Dupre. "For example, being on the receiving end of workplace incivility has been linked to lower levels of effort and performance on the job, higher levels of stress, and impaired attention, information processing and decision-making."

To better understand the effects of workplace incivility spillover at home, the researchers conducted an online survey of 146 working mothers and their spouses. Mothers were asked about their experience with incivility in the workplace as well as feelings of effectiveness as a parent. Their spouses were asked to report on the mothers' negative parenting behaviours, both authoritarian (strict and controlling) and permissive. They found a significant association between experiencing rude behaviour at work and authoritarian parenting by working mothers at home. There was no association found with permissive parenting.

Survey results also showed that incivility in the workplace was associated with mothers feeling less effective as parents, which could help explain the increased need to engage in strict, controlling parenting behaviours, said Dupre.

Authoritarian parents have high expectations of their children, with rules that they expect their children to follow unconditionally. At the same time, though, they provide very little in the way of feedback and nurturance and harshly punish any mistakes, said Dupre. They tend to have lots of regulations and micromanage almost every aspect of their children's lives, valuing discipline over fun.

"Research suggests that authoritarian parenting is more of a negative style of parenting as compared to other parenting styles. This style of parenting has been associated with a variety of negative child outcomes, including associating obedience and success with love, exhibiting aggressive behaviour outside the home, being fearful or overly shy around others, having difficulty in social situations due to a lack of social competence, suffering from depression and anxiety, and struggling with self-control," she said.

One of the most interesting aspects of the findings was how widespread the negative effects of workplace incivility were, especially given that, unlike extreme acts of aggression and violence, these behaviours are generally considered to be low-intensity deviant behaviours, according to Dionisi. "This is a form of mistreatment that many likely dismiss as non-effectual. It's unpleasant, it's frustrating, but it may boil down to one seeing a coworker behaving like a jerk. Our findings, however, suggest that this low-intensity behaviour can actually erode one's sense of parental competence, and as a result, may also be harming one's children in a vicarious way."

Dionisi and Dupre hope that providing evidence that what happens at work influences the way people parent will provide the impetus for organisations to better understand and control a form of workplace mistreatment that may sometimes not be taken seriously.

"This research tells us much about the nature and scope of workplace incivility, specifically its detrimental impact on mothering well-being and specific negative parenting behaviour. The vicarious impact of incivility on children should be used to inform choices about where and to whom to direct organisational interventions and supports," said Dionisi.

Session 3257: "Uncivil Workplace, Uncivil Home: Workplace Incivility and Harmful Parenting Behaviour," Poster Session, Saturday, Aug. 11, 1-1:50 p.m. PDT, Exhibition Halls ABC -- South Building, Moscone Center, 747 Howard St., San Francisco, Calif.

Presentations are available from the APA Public Affairs Office.

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Materials provided by the American Psychological Association. Note: Content may be edited for style and length