Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day can be both memorable and daunting. For parents, it’s a chance to show your child what your job is like and open their eyes to different career possibilities. But let’s face it: bringing your child to work can make it difficult to get work done.
Here’s how to pull off a successful day on April 26.
Know your company’s policy
It is crucial to find out ahead of time whether your company even allows kids to come in — and if they do, is it at the beginning of the workday, or at the end, or is it open-ended — so you can make any necessary arrangements.
This also gives you time to get your child up to speed on what life is like for you at work and give them something to look forward to.
Show them around
You brought your child all the way to work, so you might as well make a few key introductions. After all, if your coworkers have enjoyed getting updates about them for a while now, it’ll be fun for them to finally meet your child in person or put a face to the name.
You can briefly have your child meet the people you work with, depending on the nature of your relationships with them.
There might be a bunch of kids running around the office that day, but you still have to get work done. Make sure you’re clear on what your boss (realistically) expects from you that day. However, you should also set your own boundaries for what your child does at your workplace.
After all, maintaining relationships with your coworkers and management is crucial, so talk to your child beforehand about your plans for that day and how you’d like them to ask — even though whether or not they will follow your directions is a different story.
Have an escape plan — just in case
So, your employer encourages you to bring in your kids on that special day — even the young ones. You should be prepared to deal with the fallout of what could otherwise be a great day: Be ready to briefly step out with your child if they have a meltdown.
You’ll want them to behave the best they can, but at the same time, how much can you ask of a young child? On the other hand, if you’re bringing in an older child, it will probably be easier to manage them.
Either way, it’s important to have a plan for if things don’t swing in your favor that day.