However, the summer is another time when parents may be tempted to bring their child to work. The kids can see and participate in the workday and will learn a lot to boot. Here are some suggestions if you plan on taking your child to work with you.
Get Permission First
Obtain permission from your boss or supervisor before allowing your child to come to work with you. Otherwise, you may have to turn right around and take your child back home. If you do not have a sitter for your child, you may be taking an unexpected vacation day.
Set Rules Ahead of Time
Set rules for your child. Let her know what is expected. Depending on the type of job you have you will want to make sure that all safety codes are observed and that your child understands what is and is not acceptable behavior at your job. Remember to use this as an opportunity to teach your child about what you do all day at work.
Assign your child age-appropriate tasks to do at your work, even if it is as simple as stapling papers together or allowing older children to answer your phone or make copies. You can even try to schedule some interesting things into the day such as a tour of the building or a meeting that your child can attend.
Bring along activities that your child can do, if he becomes bored. The last thing you want is him running up and down the halls all day. Coloring books, computer games, and even hand-held game devices will help your child get through the day if it starts to drag.
Pack snacks for your child. While you will enjoy lunch together, children like to snack during the day. You don’t want him complaining about being hungry with nothing to provide for him. Vending machines can be a lot of fun to use as well.
Have Alternative Plans in Place
Plan a shorter workday, if possible. It may not be possible for your child to make it during an eight-hour workday, but a shortened day may do the trick. Consider taking off after lunch so that your child does not become bored.
Have a backup sitter ready just in case. If the day goes awry and your child just can’t handle “working” a regular job, then make sure that there is someone you can call (perhaps your spouse or a neighbor) that can come and pick your child up from your job if necessary.
Other Tips to Keep in Mind
Make sure your child is well rested before taking him to work with you. You want avoid him being cranky to your co-workers. Here are a few other tips you will want consider for this fun occasion:
Only invite children that are old enough to understand simple commands. Babies won’t do well in a work environment. They need too much of your constant attention.
Keep your child close to you. There may be people at your workplace that do not appreciate children in tow.
Watch out for sharp objects that can injure your child while on the job. Keep him away from such objects, or place them out of his reach.
Don’t take multiple children to work with you. Let them take turns, even if it means a long wait in-between opportunities.
Taking your child to work with you can be a fun experience for the two of you. Keep it to a minimum, maybe once a year, and your boss and coworkers are more likely to like the idea, too. Use the time to teach your child about how you earn money, so it is productive. Lastly, enjoy this quality time together.