How a Rude Boss Can Hamper Your Parenting Style

New research finds a link between experiencing rude behavior at work and authoritarian parenting by working mothers

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A bad boss can not only bring the entire office down but can also affect employees’ parenting skills and behaviour towards their children.

According to a new study, presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association in California, 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.

Workplace Aggression Leading to Bad Parenting

Lead researcher Angela Dionisi of Carleton University in Canada in a press release said, “These findings reveal some previously undocumented ways that women, in particular, suffer as a result of workplace aggression”.

The researcher came to a conclusion after speaking to a previously unacknowledged group of indirect incivility victims, namely children, to uncover how the mistreatment in the workplace interferes with positive mother-child interactions.

The research found a significant association between experiencing rude behavior at work and authoritarian parenting by working mothers. There was no association found with permissive parenting.

Outcomes Of Workplace Incivility

Workplace incivility is any behavior that is rude, disrespectful, impolite or otherwise violates workplace norms of respect.

According to co-author Kathryne Dupre, Carleton University, such a behaviour shows a lack of concern for others. 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 and 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,” she added.

Negative Parenting Patterns

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 behaviors, both authoritarian (strict and controlling) and permissive.

The results of the survey 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.

“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.

The research added that authoritarian parents tend to have lots of regulations and micromanage almost every aspect of their children’s lives, valuing discipline over fun.