Last month, a lot of offices (approximately 3.5 million workplaces) participated in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. The name may vary per office, but the activity is something that has been happening on the fourth Thursday of each April over the past 21 years.
To answer the question, it’s a resounding yes – bringing your child to work is important in so many ways, both for the parent and the child. If you’re one of those who brought their kid to work that day, and plan on doing so again, you have to realize its benefits and know the following dos and don’ts as well.
Taking your child with you is not as simple as it sounds – you have to consider ahead of time how he or she will participate during the event. Consider what you want them to see or do during that day based on what interests you know they have. Sit and talk with them at least the night before to find out what they want to learn and what they’re excited about.
Ask Other Parents
It takes another parent to fully understand how a child’s mind works sometimes. You can talk with co-workers who have kids and have brought them to work. They can give advice as to what kids can learn, what went well, what can be improved, and other things.
Ask the Employer about the Event
It pays to ask around if your organization or company has any activities mapped out for the children for that day, or if it’s just another day at work but with kids around. It’s important to understand how you and your child can maximize that special day so you can make things count.
Introduce Your Child to People You Work With
Taking your kid to work and introducing them to your co-workers establishes a healthy social skillset for your little one. Have them acknowledge the people you work with by saying hi and shaking their hands. Introduce your colleagues by explaining briefly what they do so your kid also knows that everyone is important even with different roles.
Keep Things Real
The last thing you want to do is to make things interesting to the point of fantasy. Keep things as realistic as possible while still taking your child’s attention by keeping things light. In addition, don’t let the kid simply follow you around – keep them engaged but not too hands on (such as taking important calls, sending work-related e-mails, or anything that can greatly affect your work in a not so positive way).
Just like what you did beforehand, sit down with your child and take maybe 20-30 minutes after the event and ask them what they learned. Inquire which activities they enjoyed most and what they can share with their classmates upon returning to school.