NORFOLK, Va., April 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 24, more than 37 million youth and adults will spend the day together for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. In addition to helping young people explore possible career paths, the program shows kids that parents or mentors take a vested interest in their future—a huge booster for developing self-esteem. As the big day approaches, ValueOptions®, Inc., a health improvement company specializing in mental and emotional wellbeing and recovery, is offering up a few tips to make sure the program is rewarding for everyone involved.
So how can you get the most out of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day? Plan ahead! Here are some ways to make the day go smoothly:
Make sure your child wants to participate. First and foremost, check in with your child to make sure Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is something they're actually interested in doing. Some kids will jump at the chance to spend a day in a new environment; other kids might cringe at the thought of spending the day meeting strangers. See if you can come to a compromise ("Okay, we'll only do a half a day, and you get to choose where we go for lunch!"), but don't force the issue—you can always try again next year.
Handle logistics ahead of time. Once your child's interest is a go, check in with your workplace to make sure you have permission to bring your child along with you for the workday; or, if your work regularly participates in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, see what activities are already planned for visiting youngsters. Be sure to also give your child's school advance notice of his or her absence, and remind your child to request a list of makeup assignments from their teachers.
Ask your colleagues to participate. Logistics are settled; now it's time to bring other people in on the fun! Ask your colleagues whether they'd be willing to meet briefly with your child to explain a little about what they do at work each day. That way, your child gets a wide sample of the different roles in your workplace.
Talk to your child about what's in store. Once you have an idea of what the day will entail, sit down with your child and outline your plan together. What will you see? What will you do? This is also a good time to set up any expectations you have, like keeping quiet when meetings are in progress, or being sure not to wander off alone.
Make it a special day. Remember, today is about your guest, so don't shut them away in your office! Give your child a tour of your workplace, introduce them to your coworkers, and show them special projects you're working on. If possible, give kids a simple duty you think they'll enjoy "being in charge of," like stamping papers or organizing the supply closet.
If the day doesn't go as you hoped, don't take it personally. Okay, maybe your child wasn't as interested in inventory spreadsheets as you were—remember, this was a day to explore! Try not to get frustrated with your child's lack of enthusiasm for your work. Even if kids don't follow in your footsteps, they'll always remember the time you took to include them.
"As kids grow up, their self-esteem is largely reliant on positive interactions with their parents and mentors," said Dr. Hal Levine, Chief Medical Officer, ValueOptions. "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is the perfect time to remind kids that you not only care about their present selves, but their future selves. This kind of support and care goes a long way in promoting kids' positive self-image."
For more information on Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, including even more planning tips and resources, visit the program's website at www.daughtersandsonstowork.org.
About ValueOptions® ValueOptions is a health improvement company that serves more than 32 million individuals. On behalf of employers, health plans and government agencies, we manage innovative programs and solutions that directly address the challenges our health care system faces today. A national leader in the fields of mental and emotional wellbeing, recovery and resilience, employee assistance, and wellness, ValueOptions helps people make the difficult life changes needed to be healthier and more productive. With offices nationwide and a network of more than 130,000 provider locations, ValueOptions helps people take important steps in the right direction. We help them live their lives to the fullest potential. Visit www.valueoptions.com for more information.