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Friday Feature: Taking Our Children to Work

We've entered the season for #TYCTWD aka Take Your Child to Work Day.  The official day this year is next Wednesday, April 26th.  Kronos celebrated our day this week.  It's school vacation week in Massachusetts - where we are headquartered - and this makes it a little easier for the parents of the 8-11 year olds we invite to manage their vacationing children for the day.

Kronos has celebrated this day for many years, and we've learned some lessons about how to do it right.  Not sticking religiously to the "official" day is one of those lessons.  You can learn a few others in this helpful article from Kronos Chief People Officer Dave Almeda, How to Plan a Great Take Your Children to Work Day

I took my mother  to work with me once in 1992 - where I was teaching a seminar in Hong Kong.  She of the double major in Chemistry and German stayed home with my siblings and me, a product of her generation.  She struggled mightily with my decision to go back to work after my daughter was born in 1988.  I took her on that trip to Hong Kong so we could have an adventure together, but the outcome was much more important than that for both of us.

During that trip, I was leading an international team of consultants on a training mission around the world.  My mother sat in on one of the sessions that I taught.  That night, four years after the birth of my daughter, she told me that although she'd doubted my decision to be a working mother, she'd decided that day that I'd done the right thing.  She told me that she'd never had the experience of having a roomful of adults pay attention to what she had to say, and that I'd be nuts to ever give that up.

In response to a post I wrote 10 years ago, about whether #TYCTWD was still relevant, my then 20 year old daughter posted the following comment:

As my mother mentioned, I'm not necessarily looking to go into her profession, nor is my brother; and we have both spent days at our parents' offices where nothing more happened than we sat quietly and did homework while they carried out their normal business. The most important part of any TYCHWD is not exposure or inspiration, but something several others have mentioned: bonding. Just because I may not have gotten the clearest idea of what my mother did each day, it doesn't mean that I didn't get something out of TYCHWD. If anything, the plugged-in, on-the-go, never-stop world we live in requires more things like TYCHWD, because honestly, we kids will take what time we can get.

In the last 10 years, smartphones have become ubiquitous and the "plugged-in, on-the-go, never-stop world" my daughter referenced then is spinning even faster.  Organizations have gotten a little more flexible, and more fathers as well as mothers are taking advantage of that flexibility to spend more time with their children.  And yet, I bet many of those children attending #TYCTWD events this year would share my daughter's perspective that anything that allows them a little extra time and attention from their working parents is more relevant than ever.



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