Tomorrow is Take Your Child to Work Day... (Well, that's eeeeevery day for those of us who work from home.) I remember being psyched for this special day to roll around way back when I was in school—you know 20-plus years ago (ouch). A freebie day off and a teacher-approved pass to be absent? What was not to love? Even if it did mean having to do little paperwork for my dad or answer a couple calls for my mom. It was a small price to pay for freedom from math equations and PE drills.
Of course, now that I'm an adult with my own children, I look at this day with a totally different POV. It's not a freebie day off! (Shame on you, middle-school, Lauren!) It's an opportunity to introduce our children to the "real world" and give them a glimpse into our busy, hectic, exciting lives. Because, you know, they think we're lame...
Here are a few tips to make sure your #TakeYourChildtoWorkDay goes smoothly. (Hint: pack a bag!)
Lay Out the Ground Rules
First and foremost, make sure your child is actually ready and mature enough to experience your professional home away from home. The day can be long... No whining, no fighting, no nonsense! If your place of business is open to hosting kids, make sure they're on their very best behavior. And when all else fails?... Pack some bribes for them! Just kidding. Sort of.
Have Your Kid Dress the Part
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Jeans and sneakers might be your kid's everyday uniform. But if they're joining you at your job, that means they have to step it up a notch. Slacks, ties, jackets, and other appropriate attire instill a lesson that you have to dress for success. (Mind you, most days I wear PJs to work in my home office, but, for the sake of argument, tomorrow I'll also practice what I preach.)
Put Them to Work... Seriously
It's easy to give kids silly "busy-bee work" or make them do their regular studying, but why not challenge them and see how they response. Give them a sneak peek at what your daily life is really like behind the scenes. Task them with big and small assignments (and maybe even a few fake, but educational ones!)—everything from filling out forms to organizing the supply closet to dreaming up new marketing campaigns. Who knows? A day spent in your shoes, and they might find some new respect... and actually learn that the money they want to buy toys and videos games with does not just grow on trees!
Pack Snacks and Entertainment
Fact of the matter is: they're bound to get bored. Kids have shorter attention spans than we do. (Wait what was I saying?!) Some larger companies might have built-in entertainment at the ready for your visitors, but be prepared just in case. Healthy snacks, drinks, books, crayons, and, yes, the iPad are all worth carting along in your kid's very own backpack briefcase.
Celebrate a Successful Day
A long day at the office calls for a fun happy hour! Well, a kid-friendly version, at least. Celebrate your child's success and learning experience with a surprise treat. Take them out for milkshakes, sundaes, or an early supper. Sometimes you just need to throw one back after a morning and afternoon of doing the grind!
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.