It’s that time of year again! Tomorrow marks the annual workplace field trip for parents and their kids: Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
According to the official site for the event, tomorrow will mark its 20th anniversary as 37 million kids and parents participate in the day! The site also points out this year’s theme encompasses marking the milestone anniversary through education, empowerment, and experience.
And don’t let the word “our” fool you — even if you don’t have kids of your own, the program encourages inviting other children to participate such as a niece, nephew or neighbor. They don’t necessarily have to be your own offspring to participate and benefit from the experience.
Carolyn McKecuen, president of the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day Foundation, explained to Forbes, “All daughters and sons should be able to take part in the program. Your child might not want to go to your workplace every year for 10 years in a row. In that case, ask a friend or neighbor or family member who has a job your child is interested in if they would take him or her to work.”
As for the day’s events itself and making the most of it, some companies may have a committee and workplace coordinator to strategically create workshops, office tours, and panels broken down by age group. If the day isn’t specifically structured, parents may want to speak with their children ahead of time to let them know what to expect in terms of shadowing them at their desk, how to introduce themselves to their colleagues, and make observations of the office environment.
In fact, McKeceun suggested to Forbes that parents hold a 20-minute meeting at the end of the day to recap and ask their child about what they learned. “Ask them to write a couple of sentences on what they’ll share with their class the next day. Give them examples or ideas if they need help with their reflection.”
But what if you — um, don’t exactly like your job? What if your kids have no interest in your job whatsoever?
Don’t force them to follow in your footsteps for the day. “A lot of kids don’t necessarily want to follow in their parents’ footsteps,” McKecuen told Forbes. “If that’s the case, have a friend or family member bring your child to his or her workplace.”