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Take Tomorrow’s Leaders to Work (on Earth Day)!

April 12, 2010

The national date for Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day, recommended for children and young adults ages 8-18, is Thursday, April 22.

1 Youth, 1 Dream, 2Morrow's Leader

Source: Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Foundation

“Exposing girls and boys to what a parent or mentor in their lives does during the work day is important, but showing them the value of their education, helping them discover the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life, and providing them an opportunity to share how they envision the future and begin steps toward their end goals in a hands-on and interactive environment is key to their achieving success,” says Carolyn McKecuen, president of the Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Foundation.

This year’s theme: 1 Youth, 1 Dream, 2Morrow’s Leader.

The foundation has a number of resources to help you get started.

Add Earth Day Activities!

It just so happens that Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day coincides with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. If you own or run a company’s special programs, think about including some Earth Day activities as well.

Lessons from the Past

Many older children prefer to take a pass on Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day, but they are often the ones who can benefit the most from a well-structured program and a caring mentor. In fact, young adults might prefer shadowing a friend or family member other then their parents. If you don’t have a son or daughter, offer your services.

And, like so many business women, what do you do if you work  from home?

“If you are a work-from-home mom your kids are already with you every day at work,” notes Lahle Wolfe in her About.com Guide to Women in Business. “But the intent behind the event is not about companionship. It is about you being a one-day professional mentor for your children.

“It is about showing them career options and building self-esteem. You can still make the day special just by listening to their own dreams of ambition.”

Is it Outdated?

Penelope Trunk, the woman behind the Brazen Careerist blog, argues that it’s time to end Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day. In this day and age, she reminds, every day is taking children to work.

“I’m on my Blackberry all the time and my division between work and kids is very tenuous,” she says. “This is pretty common for my generation. And I think we’re pretty happy with it — or we’d stop. So it’s pretty clear to me that we don’t need a day for kids being at work because they get exposed to their parents working all the time.”

Please, Take My Children to Work

In another twist on ideas for exposing children to work, MommaSaid.net’s Jen Singer is calling for the seventh annual Please Take My Children to Work Day on Monday, June 28. Singer dubs this day as “a holiday for part- and full-time stay-at-home mothers. Moms around the world are encouraged to take the day off, or at least part of it, by finding a relative, neighbor, friend or babysitter to take care of the kids.”

(Does this really need to be a separate day?)

On a more serious note, the Heritage Group, a conservative think-tank, urges parents and mentors that they should not forget to talk about the virtues of home life.

“So take your daughter to work,” Heritage says. “But take her out for ice cream afterward and talk about all the things she might like to be when she grows up. Veterinarian? Architect? Mom? Introduce her to a wide range of possibilities, but point out that some dreams come with conditions. It’s not ideal to start trying to have children after 40, for example, and it’s best for their welfare to bring them into the world within the security of marriage. Tell her that successful people must choose between good things at various seasons of life and help her develop criteria for thinking about the options she’ll have.”

Whew! That’s a lot of opinions about a single day. What’s your take?

In Your Shoes is created by Johnston & Murphy, offering quality shoes and outerwear for women and men. We welcome your comments and contributions.

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