American Dream

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day: An Important Family Opportunity

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April 23, 2015, marks the 22nd annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, an opportunity for more than 37 million American employees to introduce children between the ages of 8 and 18 to the workplace. In many school districts, teachers plan lessons based upon the unofficial holiday, which further helps link students’ education with the working world.

A Brief History on the Day

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day—originally named the Take Our Daughters to Work Program—was conceived in 1993 as a response to research that revealed a pattern of low self-confidence and high dropout rates in adolescent girls. Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation for Women intended for the program to show young girls that they can and should dream big.

In 2002, the program officially expanded to include boys, although many employers and sponsors had allowed both girls and boys to participate from the very beginning.

The Benefits of Taking Children to Work

Any busy professional might wonder whether juggling schedules around to include a child for the day is worth the hassle. But Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day offers families (and extended communities) some incredibly important benefits that far outweigh any inconveniences. Some of these include:

  • Reinforcing the importance of education. Many young students don’t see the point of spending hours every day learning subjects that seem arcane and obscure. Showing kids what education can lead to helps them find the motivation to do well.
  • Providing students with mentors. The program’s organizers make sure to point out that the event is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. You can invite any child, whether a niece or nephew or the child of a friend, to participate. Even if your kids aren’t interested in following in your footsteps, you can be a role model to a child interested in your field.
  • Helping students learn workplace expectations and dynamics. A common employer complaint about young adults in the workforce is that they are unaware of how to behave in a professional environment, and they’ll already be faced with navigating generational differences in the workplace. Participation in this program helps prevent that by providing children with hands-on experience in navigating the sometimes confusing world of work.
  • Giving your kids some much-needed one-on-one time with you. Though they may not say it, children crave time and attention from the adults in their lives. It can often be difficult to carve out quality time with busy schedules of work, school, activities, and family obligations. Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day provides you with an opportunity to spend extra time with the important child in your life.

Of course, the benefits of this program are not just for kids. In planning the day’s activities and showing off your workplace, you get to see your profession through new eyes while enjoying a new level of rapport with your children. It’s a win-win for the entire family.

Emily Guy Birken is a former educator and respected personal finance writer. She is the author of the best-seller The Five Years Before You Retire, and the forth-coming book Choose Your Retirement. Her work has appeared on Huffington Post, Yahoo Finance, Business Insider, MSN Money, and Kiplinger's, and Birken has been a guest on Wisconsin Public Radio as well as several podcasts, including Stacking Benjamins and The Doughroller.Birken's background in education allows her to make complex financial topics relatable and easily understood by the layperson. Her mix of no-nonsense advice, humor, and research into the latest studies on finance and behavior make her work a go-to resource for anyone hoping to get a better handle on money matter.