30th Mar 2020
As a parent with a young child, I often wonder how my own actions and emotions will influence her. After all, we know that children primarily learn from their parents and that their home environment has a huge impact on their lives. What if our everyday life has more of an impact on our children than we are aware of? What if our own emotions caused by our working world has an impact on our children that we are unaware of?
As a speaker and trainer of Leadership across a huge array of industries, I regularly talk about the impact our own actions have on others. So it actually came as a surprise to me when I read about a study by the University of Warwick and Kingston University London that showed children who had parents that worked long hours and spent less time at home, did not suffer any more emotionally than children who had parents that were at home much more often. However, those that had parents that had jobs they hated, those children were much more likely to be the bully at school.
Now I relate this to what I teach and please let me be very clear, in no way am I blaming the parents. We all must release our emotions and despite our best efforts, sometimes we inadvertently affect the ones we love. The fact of the matter is, we have a huge bullying issue here in the UK and it’s growing more and more so what if we could each control just one small part of it? Now despite being somewhat of a self-confessed idealist, my thoughts and ideas are always based around facts and scientific studies and I wanted to share how we can all contribute to help reduce this horrific epidemic.
It’s very easy to blame both parenting and the schools that have the bullies, but what if we look outside the box a little more and consider the jobs we have and the working environments we as parents spend so much of our time immersed in. It may seem an obvious thing to say that people who love their jobs and are fulfilled by it are much happier people and naturally their happiness rubs off on others and therefore makes them happier. So, what if I said that YouGov Research shows that 37% of employed people in the UK think their job is either meaningless or are completely unfulfilled by it and another 13% are unsure. That’s half of our working population that have no real inspiration to go back to work the next day.
Here is why our working world is so important in relation to how our children will grow up and the relationships they will form with others: If we don’t enjoy our jobs and the people who we work with, we won’t look out for them. If we don’t look out for them, they won’t look out for us. If no-one looks out for us, we feel lonely, When we feel lonely, we become negative and that negativity rears up when we get home and that has an impact on our children who are absorbing all of the information that we are both consciously and subconsciously emitting.
Now don’t get me wrong, we will all have days at work we don’t enjoy, and we will all go through times at work where we will look for another job to become more fulfilled. However, if we can look after each other and become happier people, this will change our mindset and this in turn will help educate the young minds of our children to grow into the young adults that we all hope they will become.
At the time of writing this, there has been a huge social media campaign recently to encourage people to “Be Kind” and I feel this is a very prevalent time to write this piece. If we want our younger generation to grow into this world where we can protect them from the horrendous emotional difficulties that comes with bullying, I implore you please to start with yourselves, enjoy your working environment more by helping others, consider the impact of your own actions and let’s show our children that not only can they flourish in their own environments, but they too can help others.
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