Every year companies, schools, and parents recognize “Take Your Kid To Work Day.”

If you have ever been one of these parents, perhaps your experience mirrors mine of being one of these kids.

It’s a bit awkward… as the general consensus is “Okay, we are both at work, now what?”

The Basic Flaw

This well intentioned idea to often fails to produce meaningful results, because a strong foundation hasn’t been built.

My parents were “Health Care Management Consultants” a job title that 90% of professionals don’t even really understand. Bringing me to work with them didn’t help me understand my parents jobs or my parents, instead I just felt like I was in the way.

A Better Way

Years later when I left grad school to pursue a path of entrepreneurship, I began to talk with my parents about their own experiences living and working this way.

These conversations gave me infinitely more insight into what my parents did and who they really were than going to work with them even did.

For the first time,

I understood the importance of the work they did.

I saw the strengths of my mother, the strengths of my father, and the power of their partnership.

I saw myself in them in a way that inspired me instead of scared me.

Help Them Understand

These insights made me curious, “How might my adult life have evolved differently if I had understood these things about my parents when I was a child?”

I can’t answer that question, but asking it will likely inform the way I relate to the children in my life.

Your marketing material or elevator speech should be simple and easily understood by a fifth grader, so why not use your kids as a test group and in so doing help them see your fullness?

Talk to you kids about what you do, until they really understand:

  1. Why it matters to you.
  2. Why it matters for them.
  3. Why it matters to the world.
  4. What your day at work involves.
  5. How you came to find yourself in this role.

Have these conversations early and often and you will build a relational foundation of mutual respect and true understanding.

Once the foundation is built, keep your kid/s up to date on work related developments. Include them when you celebrate big successes. Brainstorm new ideas and potential solutions with them; kids have fresh and creative minds!

In this way, everyday is take your child to work day and when the formal “holiday” rolls around you and your kid/s may actually enjoy it!

Want more strategies for understanding your kids, so you can be an even better parent? Check out these e-books, brought to you by Rich Legacy:

8 Ways For Busy Dads To Improve Their Relationship With Their Children

8 Ways For Mompreneurs To Improve Their Relationship With Their Children