Influence of Work Environment on Parenting


It seems surprising to hear, yet it is obvious that the parental emotion and parenting styles are affected by the experience of workplace environment. The recent research reports presented during the annual convention of American Psychological Association suggested that the experience of harsh working environment and rude behavior at workplace negatively affect the person’s family life and his/her parenting approach.

Co-relation between poor parenting style and hostile work environment

The researchers are indicating that when a person is facing adverse condition at work place; and also having non-supportive boss along with rude, bullying, unempathetic and non-cooperative co-workers, he/she tend to feel less secure and emotionally frustrated. The negative emotions that are aroused but repressed in workplace, tend to find their way in form of displacement at home more likely with the non-threatening relations, i.e. with the children.

There are few worth noting facts mentioned by the research reports (Whitbeck et al., 1997; Dionisi, 2018):

  1. The persons having more dominant bosses at work place are more likely to demonstrate authoritarian parenting at home. The domination they receive from their seniors at office tend to get displaced to their children.
  2. The persons with negative work life conditions tend to remain dissatisfied with their family life as well, in most cases.
  3. The mother experiencing adverse work place situation are more likely to imply “Helicopter” parenting approach, where she remains over anxious, over controlling as well as protective and interfering in her child’s matters (especially related to studies and career choices).
  4. However, the father’s tend to demonstrate the authoritarian or ambivalent or neglecting approach more while facing tremendous work pressure. Extreme work environment stress leads males’ to be either be aggressive/ rude with the child or be ignoring/ neglecting/ uninvolved towards their children.
  5. These research findings give a clear indication that how work/ office environment influences parenting styles of working males and females differently, but negatively as well.

The incivility that parents’ keep experiencing in their work life, thus, tend to get displaced upon their children in form of authoritarian/ helicopter/ neglecting/ ambivalent parenting style (depending upon the extremity of the situation). The authoritarian and helicopter parents tend to be more demanding and controlling, rather than being supportive, listening and nurturing, in nature when it comes to dealing with children. According to the mental health professionals and parenting experts, these are the negative and most unhealthy style of parenting where the parents seem to be less supportive, less emotionally involved and more strict, discipline oriented and punishing towards their children.

How does it affect your child

This kind of parenting, however, can severely affect child’s personality by inducing stress, anxiety, aggression, impulsiveness, passive depression, bullying behavior and insensitivity among children. As the authoritarian/ helicopter parents make their children to behave extra obediently and/ or decide every other thing on behalf of their children, thus, they tend to raise children who are insecure, anxious, fearful, overly shy, lack social competence, and indecisive. This is evidently not good as it hinders as well pose a threat to healthy personality development of the child.

Few things to remember when you are at home

However, for making their kid’s childhood happy and healthy, parents’ ought to practice balancing their professional and personal lives. As it is not possible to control and manipulate work environment as per one’s own need, it is required to mentally shut down the professional realm when at home with the child. An effective parenting is the one where the parents are not only emotionally but productively involved with their children. The parents need to be emotionally available (without being judgmental and interfering) for their children whenever such reason arises. Parents ought to support, encourage and motivate children for productive engagement and decision making, but alongside respect their privacy need also. Hence, the intrinsic emotional connection between the parents with their children will strengthen the relational bond and generic well-being of the family, and in turn will ensure healthy personality development of the children.

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