Bullying at school is typically blamed on any number of factors, ranging from trying to establish dominance over students a child perceives as being weak to mental illness. However, what many parents may not realize is that bullying behaviour may just start at home.
Children often imitate what they see and hear at home. If they see their parents handling difficult situations with people in customer situations, people in social situations or people they don’t get along with, they may just take this behaviour to school with them.
At 3C Contact Services, the leading provider of outsourced call center solutions, we have dealt with more than our share of difficult customer situations over the years, as have our partners. Children will often internalize their parents’ behaviour, such as yelling and screaming at customer service reps, and think that this is appropriate, taking it out on their classmates.
Here are a few of the situations where your child may see you acting like a bully yourself to customer staff:
If the store they are shopping at during the holidays is out of the product they are looking for, a parent may just humiliate the customer service representative. This is extremely negative behaviour that your child may pick up on if they are with you.
Not getting a refund:
This also applies to any entitlements you may feel you deserve as a customer. If you’re at a store or on the phone, your child will witness your reaction to this, plus if you complain to your family about it afterwards, you child can learn that this is how you deal with such situations.
Being kept on hold/transferred frequently:
Being put on hold or transferred frequently can be frustrating, but if your child sees you becoming frustrated, they can learn that this is the appropriate reaction. Try to remain calm, no matter how frustrated you are becoming.
Complaining about a co-worker:
This is essentially bringing workplace gossip home, something your child may pick up on and think is acceptable behaviour. What’s worse, if you express a desire to harm your co-worker, your child may think that it’s alright to have such thoughts.
Being frustrated with a situation at work is normal, but just be careful about how you express your frustrations. Wait until after the children have gone to bed to vent to a spouse and if you must say anything in your child’s presence, simply say, “I had a bad day, we’ll talk about it later,” and change the subject to something more positive.
Remember, setting a good example for how your children should behave starts at home. If your child sees you treating others with courtesy and respect, while being firm when the situation calls for it, 3C Contact Services believes that it will translate into their behaviour at school.