Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

photo credit: charamelody

This year, Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is Thursday, April 23. This day was officially recognized in 1993, though parents have been taking their children to work much longer than that.

The purpose of Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day is to engage youth in “the realization of their hopes and dreams.” In the early days, it was recognized as Take Our Daughters to Work Day, then in 2003, this day also included our sons. I appreciate the language chosen for this day – the collective “our” encourages places of employment and our community at large to support this day.

This year’s theme is #MPOWR Knowledge+Choice+Strength. Sounds like a good motto to me. I wondered if this was the year that my oldest would spend some time with me at work, so I set about finding out more about it.

photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

First things, first. Here are some tips to begin the decision making process.

  • Have you talked with your supervisor to find out the rules for such a day and if it will be permitted?
  • Do you work in a dangerous workplace with heavy machinery, chemicals, etc.?
  • Do you work with confidential information?
  • Will it be a learning experience for your child?

Additionally, check out these Dos and Don’ts of Take your Kids to Work Day from Forbes magazine.

Although there wasn’t an “official” take your daughter or son to work day back then, as a child, I do remember visiting my dad at the office for a morning. Here  are the things I learned that day:

  • The mythical workplace that my dad talked about – I now had an image of him in this corporate world.
  • I was so happy to see all the excitement, but more importantly, I saw him in a leadership role that made me consider my future.
  • Corporate people could have lunches in swanky restaurants (Wait, that’s not always true? That was the impression I got as we lunched in Manhattan, so also be aware of what type of perspective your kids are taking away!)
  • I remember how much my dad’s colleagues knew about me and this was the first realization that he brought some of his home life to work, and that made me feel special. (Note the photo of moi in the background behind my dad’s desk below).
SFBmobil (2)
Yours truly, at my dad’s office, c. 1977

Will you be taking your child to work with you on Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day this year? Why or why not? Please share!

And if you want some tips on how to help your kids process the question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, Richmondmom’s own Mary Beth Cox offers some suggestions asking kids about their interests, and Rethinking an Age-Old Question.