May 18, 2020

What Does Your Child Think You Do For Work?

Recently, I noticed on my calendar that April 23 was “Take Your Child to Work Day.” I laughed sarcastically since I was then in the sixth week of working from home during the COVID-19 quarantine. Since the third week in March, EVERY DAY has been “Take Your Child to Work Day.”

With so many of us doing our jobs these days from our homes, often with our kids literally in our laps, it might seem that our children should be intimately familiar with what we do for a living. But, if you think about what they see us doing, they might think we all have the same job. Ask them to describe it and it would be something like this: “She video chats with her friends, makes phone calls and writes on the computer.” When we’re not synced with that description, we’re otherwise interruptible to attend to any of their ever-urgent needs – “Feed me,” “Read me a book,” “Play with me.”

A friend’s child recently asked her what her job was. “I’m in marketing,” she replied. The child, apparently not satisfied with the answer, followed up: “No. What’s your REAL job?”

Teaching Your Children What You Really Do

We all want our children to share in our professional pride and even inspire them to follow in our footsteps. So, how do we demystify our jobs so that kids can understand what it is we do?

Sandra Graham, Director of Training for Kiddie Academy® Educational Child Care, offered the following advice.

“Share details about your job so your kids understand what you do all day. If you’re a teacher, talk about how you help children learn and feel good about themselves. If you work at a grocery store, tell them about helping people pick out food and stocking the shelves. One day, if you can, take them to your workplace to meet your coworkers to find out what they do and the ways in which you work together. For now, it’s safer to let them make a cameo on a few of your conference calls to meet your coworkers. All this could lead to a discussion about what jobs your child might like to have when they grow up.”

In the meantime, though, it can still be amusing to find out how your child views your job. Here’s a collection of observations we’ve gathered from some of our Kiddie Academy colleagues.

What Our Kids Think We Do All Day

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