Show Your Kid What Dad Does
Use the school holidays as a chance for your kid to see you in action, learn about the working world, and sneak in some bonding time

December 3, 2013

coffee break

Holidays loom, and it’s a great chance for your kid to see you in action, learn about the working world, and maybe even sneak in some bonding time

Clear it with the man
A few weeks prior, run the plan by your boss and find out if any colleagues are bringing kids. You don’t want your child to feel out of place or unwelcome. (Not all offices are kid friendly, even if the kid is just job shadowing.) At the very least, you’ll look good for planning ahead and keeping company interests in mind.

Talk it up
A pep talk the night before will calm nerves and build enthusiasm.Walk your child through the schedule so she (or he) knows what’s coming, and describe your office and colleagues. Ask what she’s curious or nervous about, and help her pick an outfit to raise anticipation.

Work with them
Boost your child’s confidence by soliciting her opinion (“Here’s what I have to do today. What should I tackle first?”) or assigning her a creative project (“I need logo ideas. Will you draw me some?”). She’ll feel important and involved, says Johnson. You can send your child over to a colleagues desk, says Dr Dan Kindlon, author of Raising Cain (R165, A week or so in advance, ask a few colleagues if they’d mind backing you up in case you’re called on to take care of real business.

Duck out early
Plan to take the afternoon off. Then take in some kid-friendly entertainment, such as the zoo, the movies or putt putt, where you two can chat in a fun setting about what Daddy does, says Kindlon.