Lessons To Impart On Your Kids During A Day At The Office

There are many practical and logistical reasons for taking your kids with you to work.

Perhaps they get out early from school one day and have nowhere else to go. Maybe it’s the summer and they’ve grown bored and antsy. Maybe you’re all meeting your wife there before going on an outing or perhaps you have friendly co-workers with whom your kids have always gotten along.

Whatever the reason, at some time or another, every father takes his children with him to work. And even though the motivating factor may be logistical in nature, the office visit is always a great time to connect with your children and teach them some “adult world” lessons.

This has been well-documented in popular culture. In one of the earliest episodes of The Wonder Years, the nostalgic 1988 sitcom that revisited 1960s-era America, Kevin asks his dad to take him to work for a day. Before the work visit, Kevin views his dad’s work as a mysterious and distant place, and consequently he has a hard time understanding why his dad is always so stressed when he arrives home in the evening. The day at work teaches Kevin that his dad’s job isn’t that fascinating or exciting, but it is definitely challenging and stressful. He leaves the experience with a greater respect for his dad and for the working world.

As a family sitcom, Wonder Years understandably ended each episode with a nicely packaged lesson of this nature. But even in the real world it is entirely possible that your children can learn a tremendous amount – both about you and about your career – when you take them to work.

Here are a few lessons that you can try to teach:

Financial responsibility: No matter what your job, the process of making money is usually a major part of any career – both from a company and individual perspective. Give your children some insight into the financial decisions you and your business need to make every day. Provide them some understanding of what you can buy with your earnings from an hour of work. Emphasize that you are working not just for yourself but also for them. Someday, when you are in an assisted living home and they are in the midst of their careers, they may find that the responsibilities have reversed.

Delayed gratification: No job is fun and exciting 100% of the time. Instead, workers in even the most stimulating professions need to occasionally deal with paperwork, forms, tedious research, and dull periods of productivity. Make sure that your kids see this side of the workday, as well. Then explain to them why it is ultimately worth it.

Personal skills: Your children will likely see you conversing with co-workers at some point during their visit. This insight into the adult world will give them an immediate lesson in courtesy and professionalism. You can drive the point home by emphasizing these values when de-briefing afterwards.

These are just a few of the lessons you can teach your children during a day on the job. Just remember, though, to give them an honest depiction of your work life that does not overplay or undersell your duties. Your kids are likely to leave the experience with a greater understanding of you as a result.

[About the author: Jenna is a student in Saint Louis. Upon graduation, she hopes to travel the world while producing compelling content for the masses. When she isn’t writing, you can find Jenna with her nose in a book, or her headphones in to block out the rest of the world.]

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