If you’ve never heard of it, “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” is a national program that encourages workplaces, parents, educators and mentors to give children the opportunity to see a parent or another adult at work.
This post will explain how you can participate in the program as a freelancer. We’ll also discuss some of the benefits the program offers to children.
About “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day”
The point of the “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” program is to:
- Show children the value of education
- Help them discover that it’s possible and desirable to balance work and family life
- Give children the chance to share their dreams for the future with their parents or other trusted adults, and see how they might move towards those goals
Beyond these objectives, it’s a good idea for freelancers to share our work day with our children.
Not only is it a good opportunity to bond with our children. It’s also a wonderful way to share and pass on our freelancing values and work ethic to our children. By celebrating “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day,” we can show them that they have options other than becoming employees.
If you’re interested in celebrating this day with your child, then read on.
How to Participate
The organizers of “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” have excellent suggestions for parents who work at home, such as:
- Plan your day. A freelancer’s work life can be pretty unstructured. However, for this day, plan your work so that your child will get a holistic view of exactly what your work entails.
- Show your child all the different tasks you perform in your home office. Have your child see you doing client work, of course. But on top of that, help your child realize that you also do sales and marketing, planning, bookkeeping, and office management. If you have passive income streams, such as affiliate marketing and information product marketing, then share those activities with your child as well. Your child will never think you’re slacking again, even if you never do get out of your pajamas!
- Explain the benefits and challenges of working at home. Show your child how you juggle doing housework with your home business. Also, explain how you deal with distractions, isolation, and lack of motivation–whichever challenges you do encounter in your work. Of course, don’t forget the share the fun parts of working at home, such as taking a nap midday or playing a videogame to recharge your creativity.
- Demonstrate how you communicate with clients, vendors and peers. Communication skills are essential in any job, including freelancing. Show your child how, even though you often work alone, you do need to communicate effectively with many people.
- Show how you juggle home life with work life. Don’t skip the laundry and vacuuming just because it’s “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day”! If doing household chores is what you do on your breaks, then let your child see that. It’s important for them to see how you balance work and home, even if you never have to leave home to go to work.
- Take child to outside tasks, if any, such as meetings with prospects. If you do some of your work outside, such as meeting prospects or making presentations to clients, then let your child tag along too. This will help you show a different dimension to your work.
- Have your child perform simple tasks. This may be difficult, but remember, it’s only for one day. Give your child simple tasks to do around your home office. This could include faxing, photocopying, doing Internet research, or proofreading. Make sure the task is appropriate to your child’s age and abilities. And if she makes a mistake, don’t sweat it. It’s part of the experience.
Interested? Your Next Steps
If you’d like to celebrate “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day,” I suggest you start by writing your child’s school to get him or her excused from school on April 22.
You can find a sample letter, background information, and plenty of suggestions for celebrating the day at the official site of the program.
After that, the next step is to plan what you’re going to do on that day, and choose tasks for your child. You may want to orient her so she knows what to expect. Entertain any questions your child may have beforehand.
Beyond the Day
At the end of the day, have a quick debriefing with your child. What does he think of your work? Address any questions, concerns and suggestions she may have. Does he see himself working at home too? If not, what are her goals for the future? This experience is a good way to get into a serious discussion about your child’s ambitions and dreams in life.
Even after the day, you can continue to reap the benefits of sharing your work life with your child. Have your child help you out on his spare time in exchange for additional pocket money.
Or, if you’re unable to celebrate the day for whatever reason, you can still do something similar on weekends or after school. You may both enjoy the arrangement so much that you decide to hire your child.
Will you and your child participate in “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day?” If so, how do you plan to do it?
- 3 Lessons Children Can Learn From a Freelancing Parent
- Seven Benefits of Hiring Your Children
- 15 Reasons Why I Utterly Refuse to Give Up on Freelancing
Posted: 2010-04-20 07:30:42