“My mom gets a latte work done in the coffee shop!”
It sounds a bit communist in its wording, but Take Your Child to Work Day is one of the best ways to introduce your children to what grown-ups ACTUALLY do all day.
When I was a child, I assumed my mother went to an office in her business suits, and sat around gossiping or making off-color jokes with her co-workers, getting coffee for the boss, and taking long lunches to shop for shoes. Clearly, I was a child reared on bad 1980’s sitcoms. I still don’t know my mom’s actual title even, but I’m pretty sure she never brought anyone coffee.
So in addition to exposing your kids to the fact that when you come home tired from work, it’s for a legitimate reason—you were working!—Take Your Child to Work Day also helps them see what “working” actually is. Being in an office environment is very different than being in a school (well, unless you’re a teacher) so having an early exposure to the office can only help kids as they think about what they might want to do as they grow up. From this experience they might be able to tell if they want a traditional job or something innovative with a start-up. Do they want flexibility to work wherever, whenever – which often goes hand-in-hand with being required to work wherever, whenever – or do they want to “clock out” at 5:00 and be done with their day? Do they want to build? Program? Write? Invent? Cook? The whole point of Take Your Child to Work Day is to open up their eyes to the good, the bad, and even the ugly of all kinds of career options.
If you don’t work, or you don’t work for a company that supports Take Your Child to Work Day, I encourage you to find a family friend or relative who can bring your child to an event. It gives your child real-world, and sometimes even hands-on, experience with a career. Often schools will provide assignments for the kids to write about their experience. Here is what my daughter wrote about me:
“My mom works a regular job. She is also a freelanced writer. Sometimes she works at home in her jammies. Sometimes she goes to a coffee shop and sometimes she even puts on sweat pants to go to the coffee store. She eats a lot of muffins. She plays on her computer all day and says she is writing. We can’t talk to her when she’s doing that. When I grow up, I want to do what my mom does, so I can sit next to her in the coffee store and eat muffins and play on my computer, too.”
Cricket Media Mama is so proud her daughter wants to grow up and be like her that she can barely swallow her chocolate croissant.