Check out these tips for a super productive and enjoyable Bring Your Child to Work Day!
What do your kids think you do for work? Even if your kid has seen you “at work” more during remote work and school shutdowns, chances are they still have a limited understanding of what your working world actually looks like and what you pour time and effort into trying to achieve every day.
You mean, Bring Your Daughter to Work Day?
Well, no but it used to be. Gloria Steinmen of Ms. Foundation for Women founded Bring Your Daughter To Work Day in 1993 to introduce girls to the workplace, instill confidence and help close the gender gap in professional achievement. You can get the whole story in this article from Time magazine. But now it’s evolved to give all kids the opportunity to explore careers from a young age.
Give them an inside glimpse and inspire them to dream about their own future careers by taking part in Bring Your Child to Work Day! Read on for some tips on how to make it a fun, low-stress and enriching experience for you and your kid.
1. Talk to your kid & your manager.
First make sure your manager and coworkers are aware you’ll be taking part so they know to expect your focus to be divided. Once that expectation is set, talk it over with your kid. Let them know you’re looking forward to the chance to spend time together and show them around your daily tasks. Ask them if there’s anything in particular that they want to learn, and that they only need to take part if they want to.
2. Let your kid know what to expect.
Make a list of items your kid will need to know, like if you have meetings planned and appointments you need to keep. If you share your workspace with others, instruct them to be courteous and speak quietly. If your job requires you to be up and around, advise them of safety protocols. Any rules that apply to you, should apply to them. If you work from home, make sure they know not to interrupt you during meetings.
3. Ask teachers about assignments.
Give their teachers a heads-up that your kid will be missing all or part of the day and ask about any work they’ll need to make up. To keep them from falling behind, you can even set aside head down time for them to do their work while you do yours. You can talk about what you’re each working on if you’re working in the same space.
4. Plan your schedule.
Now, the fun part (or the deeply un-fun part depending on who you ask): planning. Your day has the best chance at success if you go in with an agenda. Outline activities around your usual schedule and try to keep tasks lighter than usual so you can make time to focus on your kid. If you have deadlines, try to meet them in advance. Plan a fun lunch. And if you have meetings, teach your kid proper etiquette to avoid being disruptive, and if you can, try to find ways to involve them.
5. Coordinate with other parents.
Are other parents bringing their kids to work? Plan something fun together so they can meet and make new friends. This could also give you some much-needed grownup time or an opportunity to catch up on work. Maybe you can take turns planning activities and supervising each other’s kids. If you work remotely, you can schedule a Zoom to introduce them to your coworkers and do some work-themed Q&A.
6. Make it enriching.
Spending time together is valuable in and of itself, but don’t forget the goal of Bring Your Child to Work Day is to teach them about working life. Carve out time to talk to them about what they’re observing and learning. Teach them about concepts that will help them be more successful now and in the future like time management, working as a team and task prioritization. And give them plenty of kid-friendly activities to keep them learning when you’re busy. Here are some great independent activities you can try.
While it doesn’t seem like much, even a day could be enough to plant the seeds for work-related skills and traits like organization, communication, work ethic and more. It’ll broaden their horizons, influence their goals, fan their interests and inspire them to one day bring their own contributions to the world at work. And bonus! It could also help them empathize with your own life and challenges outside of your role as a parent. Who knows, they may even be impressed.
We hope you have a super productive and enjoyable Bring your Child to Work Day! Want more tips for raising happy, healthy kids? Check out our posts: “7 Ways to Empower Girls to Become Strong Adults” and “Empower Kids Through SEL & Reading.”