Millions of parents and children will be participating in “Take Our Daughters or Sons to Work Day,” a day in which children leave school to get workplace experience at first-hand. It’s a time of great Mindful learning for both children and parents alike.
This special day began in 1993 by Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation. It started as “Take Our Daughters to Work Program,” a day in which young girls would learn more about the workforce. Ten years later it changed to “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” in order to include young boys as well. It is said that today more than “37 million youths and adults participate at over 3.5 million workplaces each year.”
This one day can greatly impact young students who are unprepared for college. According to an Scholastic and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation survey, 35 percent of the 40,000 surveyed teachers believed that students lack motivation when preparing for higher education. And 24 percent believed that students lack encouragement. Luckily, programs like “Take Your Child to Work Day” can help children improve in these areas. Being in an office exposes them to new things, teaches them about professionalism, increases their confidence, and encourages young people to think about their future.
Here are some Mindful tips for Take our Daughters or Sons to Work Day:
- Be prepared. Parents should be sure to get permission from their employers and talk to their coworkers beforehand. Parents will also need to talk their children’s teachers and other school officials.
- Talk to the kids. Before the day arrives, parents should talk to their kids in detail about their jobs and what goes on in their office. Then they can ask their kids what they would like to learn or do around the office. This way the kids are more involved.
- Set rules. To ensure that the day is a success, parents should set some ground rules about appropriate behaviors in the office. For instance, stress the importance of “indoor voices.”
- Plan activities. Sometimes, if the whole office or organization gets involved, there can be planned activities or events for everyone’s children. You can find activity ideas here. There’s also an activity workbook filled with puzzles, games, factsheets, and brainstorming prompts to help them ponder on their future careers.
Bonus: Bringing a child to work isn’t always easy. Since, more parents are working from home, bringing their child to “work” poses a problem. If a parent has worked in the same office for years. If their children are interested in another field, it’s likely that they may not want to participate.
Fortunately, there are solutions:
- Parents can ask family members or friends if they would be willing give an office tour for their child.
- Parents can consider job-shadowing opportunities that are offered through school or other children programs.
- Or parents and children can see if there are any volunteering opportunities in the career field they’re interested in.