Images of your daughter Xeroxing her hands or your son exclaiming the dreaded “I’m bored!” during a client call might come to mind when you think of taking your child to work for a day.
But organizers say Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day (the official name for the program that started in 1992 as Take Our Daughters to Work Day) on April 28 is an important opportunity to inspire young people about future careers and it’s easy to make it a great experience for everyone involved.
“One of the biggest things that we’ve learned over the years is that (the event) teaches leadership,” says Carolyn McKecuen, executive director of the Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Foundation. “It’s really the self esteem and leadership pieces as well as the education of knowing what a real job is and knowing what you have to do in order to get a job.”
Local mom Katie Murphy, an engineer at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, has participated in the event for many years with her three boys. Her youngest son is now 17 and this year she’s organizing the event for the center, where more than 3,000 kids participate each year.
While some kids are watching airbags and crash test dummies in action, others are trying out rear entertainment systems and trunk releases. Teens who come to work with their parents can also get expert advice on college and internships.
“What I think is really cool about the event is that different organizations put on their own events that kind of show the kids what they do in their work,” she says.
Murphy has also noticed other benefits of her kids’ participation.
“I think it helps them even when they go back to school and they’re understanding that what they’re learning there will actually apply to something they might do in work later,” she says, pointing out that her kids have made connections from her work to school about physics, math and science.
Visiting mom or dad’s workplace also gives kids a more well-rounded look at who their parents are, Murphy says.
“They might think that all they do is go to meetings all day, they don’t know that they’re actually instrumental in designing this part of the vehicle or testing this part of it,” she says.
Kids at the Tech Center also sit in on meetings as parents go about their usual duties, but Murphy points out that you never know what your kids will find fascinating. One of the most memorable things her kids experienced at her job was a conference call to a client in Brazil several years ago.
“There are things that we take for granted because we do it every day and they’re kind of awed by it,” she says.
Planning to take your child to work for Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day? Take a peek at our list of tips for taking your child to the office on April 28.