“Bring Your Child to Work Day” With My Son, E
Today was “bring your child to work day.” And up until yesterday, I hadn’t planned on bringing my own child to work despite the fact that I’ve written about the concept in the past. My child, E came home from school saying other kids were going to their parents’ work. Couldn’t he come with me? I hesitated. “Won’t he be incredibly bored since I am either writing, illustrating or talking with others in meetings?” I thought. But I began considering how to involve him in those activities and realized that a.) it wasn’t that difficult to find ways to involve him; and b.) I could actually make it interesting so that he could learn about what I do. I found myself feeling grateful that I could help him understand the work that is so meaningful in my daily life.
I thought, since today is blog publishing day, that I would interview him about his perceptions on parents, on teachers, and on what he wants to learn about related to social and emotional skills. We took a selfie and from it, he drew this beautiful (keeping-it-forever) illustration of the two of us.
I also had a video conference meeting with the Making Caring Common Project at Harvard’s School of Education in which they were examining activities that could promote empathy. In advance of the meeting, my son helped review those activities and had numerous ideas to share.
It was well worth the short time it took for me to reframe my perspective from “all I do is sit in front of a computer all day” thinking to a full day’s work agenda that substantively involved my son and gave him a genuine sense of what I do all day. I encourage you to think about it. Any day can be “bring your child to work day”! How can you give your child an authentic experience of what you do?
Here’s my interview with eleven-year-old E Miller.
- What does your Mom do for work?
She does parenting work and helps moms and dads better understand kids and helps them be better parents.
2. What do you think parents need to know and understand about kids?
Kids are very active. They are always excited and full of energy.
3. If you became a parent someday, what would be important to you to learn in becoming the best father to your son or daughter?
Punishing doesn’t help anything. Instead talk to him or her about why she or he did that and find a solution.
4. What do you think teachers need to know and understand about students?
They get bored at school easily and they do not know what to do about it so they play in their desks or start talking with their friends because they are not doing anything active. Punishing does not help anything so what I would do is make learning fun and make a game out of it.
5. If you became a teacher someday, what would be important for you to learn in becoming the best teacher for your students?
I would make learning fun.
6. What motivates you to work hard?
It’s different doing something you want to do versus something you don’t want to.
7. What do you think kids need and want to learn about their feelings?
If I’m really upset, I sit down to relax and calm down.
8. What do you think kids need and want to learn about making friends?
How to get friendships and how to keep friendships.
9. If you could offer one bit of wisdom to any and all parents, what would it be?
Be a kind person to kids because they are more delicate than you think.
10. After visiting your Mom’s work, is your impression of what she does the same as what you thought it was or different? In what way?
Different. I always thought you had a boring on-the-computer, editing job. Not doing fun stuff. But now, I see that you have a really fun work that you can do a lot of stuff. Super fun.
Hope you try out this worthwhile experience with your child!