Monday, April 21, 2014

Thursday – The Day to Take Your Child to Work

This Thursday, April 24, it’s officially the day for parents across the U.S. to Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work

Did your mom or dad do this with you when you were growing up – take you to their place of work for a day? If so, then you know what a lasting and positive memory that can create for any child.

This Thursday is the perfect opportunity to carve out some of your work day to take your son or daughter to work and build such special memories for them.

Share your story of going to work with your parent

My father was a church pastor. When I was nine years old, a time when he was working towards his Masters of Divinity, he carpooled with a couple of his fellow seminarians three days a week from the Georgetown, Ohio area to classes at the seminary school in Lexington, Kentucky, several hours away. One memorable day, Dad took me with him. To this day, decades later, I remember vividly that day – the funny carpool conversations, coloring pictures at the student desk beside Dad’s to pass the time while a professor lectured, and eating lunch with him in the campus cafeteria. In a family with four siblings, such extended one-on-one time with Dad was a rare treat, and one I value as a red letter day in the calendar of my life.
If you had a memorable time with your mother or father on a workplace day with them that you think might inspire or encourage other parents to do this with their children, won’t you please share your story using the comments field below? We’d love to hear about it!

What parents can do

To make your own Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work day extra special for your child or children, consider these tips:
  • Notify your child’s teacher and school of your plans so they can be prepared for the planned absence.
  • Clear your plans with your boss. Even if your place of work supports the take-your-child-to-work concept, you can help the day go smoother if your supervisor has a chance to prepare, perhaps by using a different day to schedule long meeting or intensive group work sessions.
  • If you have more than one child, consider a rotation plan; one child this time, the next child next  year. This  time with your son or daughter will be a more special memory if the day is carved out for just him or her. Each year, consider making it a different child’s turn for the field trip to your work place. Alternatively, enlist your spouse’s transportation assistance on the big day so that one child has the morning with you and the other child has the afternoon.
  • For older children, use this as a teaching opportunity. Show them exactly what you do; maybe even teach them the basics of some of your tasks.
  • Knowing your child’s attention and interests may wander, be ready with age-appropriate games or crafts for them to work for those moments when you need to take a call or really must be productive.
  • If you have tasks that cannot be put off and that require your concentration, find out if a coworker is also participating with their child, and work out a one-hour swap – an hour where the coworker watches both children and an hour when you watch both children.
Remember to set realistic expectations that your work time will be less efficient due to the limited attention span of any child; that’s okay. The value of creating a positive lifetime memory far outweighs the tyranny of the day’s normal work priorities.

What managers and employers can do

Supervisors, please do your part to grease the skids for your subordinates’ participation in this important event. Tips:
  • Make an official proclamation to be certain that your employees know they have your support and even encouragement; they may be uncomfortable asking if it’s okay to bring their child to work.
  • Offer optional parent-child events that your employees can take advantage of, such as arranging a mid-afternoon ice cream social, supplying craft materials, giving each child a company-branded knick knack to take home as a souvenir of the day, or arranging for a group parent-child company photo.
  • To make the day extra-special, arrange for a photographer to take a photo of your parent employee’s big day with their child – and give them a 5x7-inch framed glossy that the child can keep in the bedroom as a remembrance.

To learn more about Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work day and to get more tips on how to make the day a success for you and your child, go to or to

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer

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