On “Bring Your Kids to Work Day”, people all over the nation have their sons and daughters accompany them to the workplace to learn a little bit about the adult world (and find out where their parents spend the day.) But as most parents are aware, sometimes Bring Your Kids to Work Day isn’t officially marked on any calendar. This day just arises on its own out of occasional necessity. When this happens, make the most of the event by keeping these tips and suggestions in mind.
1. Start with your own workstation.
Give your kids the lay of the land by starting with your own work space or office. Let them know that this is the home base for the day, and help them orient themselves in terms of nearby hallways, landmarks, bathrooms and windows.
2. Help them branch out.
Once they’re comfortable with the starting point, choose an age-appropriate way to help them branch out and explore the space around them. If you want to them to stay close to you, provide toys and activities they can do at your desk or on the floor, like coloring books, stuffed animals, tablets, action figures, and art projects. If you need to do this on a regular basis, consider keeping some supplies in a drawer or a box under your desk.
3. Turn volume control into a game.
If your child is a baby, there’s not much you can do about this. But older children can learn to have fun while keeping their voices at indoor levels. Invent games that keep the shrieks to a minimum and help support smooth relations between your offspring and your coworkers.
4. View the workplace through your child’s eyes.
There are plenty of things all around you that contain more hidden fun than you imagine. Sometimes just pressing the big grey button on the copy machine can bring endless hilarity and excitement. Explore a little and find out what, in this sober environment, can attract a child’s eyes and ignite some interest.
5. It’s never too early for an education.
Is your child old enough to understand a little bit about what you do and how this company works? If so, don’t let a valuable learning opportunity pass you by. Take a tour, visit the mail room, stop by departments like accounting, HR, IT, and payroll. Introduce your child to the friendly faces in each section of the company and explain what goes on here.
6. Let them see how people talk to each other in the workplace.
Chat with your coworkers and your boss in a natural way while your child observes you. Just a few moments spent witnessing how people communicate in a workplace environment can provide some important food for thought.
7. Keep the memories positive.
If possible, try not to push your child (or children) past their limits. A random day spent in your workplace may have a more powerful impact on your child’s understanding of the world than you realize, and these kinds of memories can last for a very long time. Not only is she developing a relationship with you, she’s also developing a relationship with work and grown-up life. Respect the power of these early impressions.For more on how to navigate the challenges of the working world, explore the job search and career development resources at MyPerfectResume.