Bringing kids to work - 5 reasons why!
When the kids are born, somehow our jobs become "escapes" from the new "responsibilities" that we are yet to understand and accept. Parents constantly balance between work and family. Both moms and dads do the same. Whoever tried it knows it's not easy, but it's completely realistic and doable! Do we need to balance and how much, or to simply blend these two halves into one? Do we sometimes need to bring kids to work? Why should we take them at all? How much understanding do employers or other colleagues have? How many of you are able to take your kids to work tomorrow? Why shouldn’t you include children in your life since they are very young? The easiest thing is not to take them anywhere, because they are too loud, restless, curious, constantly asking questions ... Some people say "my job is my second home" why don’t you introduce your children to other members of your household then? How did our parents have time, patience, as well as their colleagues, employers, and it seems to me a lot more understanding, tolerance, and sometimes managed to bring their children to work?
I know that there are many different views and experiences on this topic, but this is mine and it is positive. Since I became a dad, I tend to, when I can, take my kids to work at least once a week for couple of hours. Here is why:
My 5 recommendations - Why it's important to bring children to work:
• They get to see us in a different way: Unlike with some office jobs, I don’t have the opportunity to work from home, because I don’t have a swimming pool in my flat, so that my kids can see what their dad does and where he goes. Through shorter visits at work, children see us in a different light, they learn faster what we exactly do. Of course, they learn how to behave around the adults, but it often happens that we learn something from them too. In this way we directly include them in our "second" life, which really means a lot to them. They will learn that we do not abandon them because we go to work, but that’s a part of our and their daily life. If you ask my three-year-old little shark what his dad does, he responds: "Of course, he trains children."
• Minimise the fear of feeling abandoned: Younger kids very often feel abandoned when you tell them you need to go to work and they need to stay at home. Then you get all the drama and tears. It’s all actually very normal as they fear of being abandoned and that you won’t come back. That’s why I started taking my kids to the swimming pool since they were very little. Today when I am getting ready to go to work, we don’t have such problems. They even walk me to the door and give me a kiss saying, “have a good day at work daddy”. They are only three and two and they know where I’m going and what I do, and that I won’t be able to take them with me today, but that I will be back later.
• They get to learn new things: You can show them how you spend your time when you are not with them. In that way you are exposing them to the adult world and teach them how to behave in it. Kids are like sponges and they absorb everything that’s happening around them, and especially what their moms and dads do, how they behave or talk. That’s why my kids like playing swimmers and coaches at home. You wonder how? Well they are very creative. My little shark gets on a small coffee table and also takes a little stool and then says to my little fish: Tell me when to start. He puts himself in the jumping position as if he wanted to jump off the block into the pool. And he really jumps, but onto the pillows they have previously arranged. That’s a constant fun for them.
• We expose them to the real life, which makes us feel more relaxed: How many of you has started working when your kids were really really small (no matter whether you are a mom or dad)? You need to go on a business trip and your kid won’t let you go, and then you don’t feel like going at all, because you don’t want to miss out on those special moments that will never repeat again. If you leave, then your mind is unfocused, and you keep thinking about your kids. There are some professional swimmers who manage to strike the balance between their family and Olympic trainings, and they get to take the whole family to their preparations. One of them is a world class swimmer Dana Volmer, who has been bringing her two sons to trainings or competitions far away from home, since they were very young.
• They get to see and hear: People say, “my job is my second home”, so I have introduced my kids to my second household. Today when I tell my little shark that Maja, Jeca, Kris, Ivana or Natasa said hello, he knows exactly who those people are because he saw and heard them. Kids should know who our friends and colleagues are. I am very lucky to have such amazing colleagues that my kids can’t wait to come and visit me at work.
Of course, there are certain types of jobs where bringing kids would not be safe (pilot, doctor, car mechanic, construction worker…) but there is always a solution. Why wouldn’t employers allow you to bring your kids to work for couple of hours, if not once a week then once a month at least. I know some companies do that, but the parents are not willing to bring their kids. You shouldn’t make a spectacle out of it and throw them a party, or let them watch their favourite cartoon, play mobile games, but to really be with them for those two hours and provide them with a totally new experience. Who knows, maybe that would be their future job.
Do you manage to balance between your work and family?
Do you ever take your kids to work?