It’s a good idea to have children actually see what goes on when their parents are working or volunteering. It widens their world by exposing them toeveryday situations and structures outside family life. And it gives them a greater sense of security to be able to visualize what a parent is doing whennot at home. So, if you can arrange it, it’s worth taking your curious kid on a visit to the office, store, or shop.
Here are eight suggestions that will help make that visit successful for your child and manageable for you and your colleagues.
- Talk to the boss first.There already may be a child’s day at work within the company. If there isn’t, you might want to start one — it’s great PR for the company as well as abig internal morale builder. If you do bring your child, let your co-workers know in advance so there’s no surprise.
- Pick a good time.Young children are at their best in the morning, while kids in school do better with an afternoon visit. Consider when interesting things tend tohappen and when your child’s presence is least likely to be disruptive.
- Keep it short.Plan on a visit of an hour or two. More is generally too much for a young child, and things are more likely to fall apart. Be sure to include a snackor lunch break.
- Make sure your child is dressed appropriately; that’s part of the learning. Let him try out what you do, if it’s possible: sign on to the computer system, make a copy of a schedule, ask a customerif she needs help, offer a serving of potatoes – whatever doesn’t compromise you, your child, or the work.
- Introduce your child to your co-workers.Explain to her what each of them does.
- Take photos.This can illustrate a story she dictates to you about the visit. She will certainly want to add her own illustrations of the day spent “working” withMom or Dad.
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