It's time to admit that Take Your Child to Work Day is an outdated relic of 1970s feminism, and we can put the whole thing to rest.

Do you remember that the day started as Take Our Daughters to Work? It was the 70s, and women wanted their daughters to know that they could do anything. Here's what came of that era: Latchkey kids who never saw their parents after school except on Take Our Daughters to Work Day. And, then later, those same little girls grew up to feel intense pressure to put work before kids which ushered in the biggest fertility train wreck in history, with Gen X thinking it would be fine to wait until after 30 to have kids.

So I have a bad taste in my mouth from the era of Take Our Daughters to Work. But then we had the era of boys underperforming. That's right: Boys are doing so much worse than girls in school that it's officially easier to get into college if you're a boy (scores are lower and so are GPAs) and once these kids enter the workforce, girls make more than boys do.

So some probably-drumming, angry, white male decided that it shouldn't just be daughters. It should be sons, too. So now we have Take Your Child to Work.

But here's what I want to know: Why?

This holiday now strikes me as one similar to Secretaries Day, which is a relic from the days when there were no computers and secretaries had thankless jobs and the men who were having sex with them on the side always forgot to thank her in the spotlight for the typing, so there is an official reminder day to buy her a card. That made sense. Twenty years ago.

Which is why it reminds me of Take Your Child to Work Day.

You know what else reminds me of this special day? The Week of the Young Child. Seriously. It was last week. Did you celebrate? Of course you did. Because every week is the week of the young child, because if you don't focus on young children they die. They eat bleach or get bitten by a squirrel or run over by a car.

The reason the Week of the Young Child reminds me of Take Your Child to Work Day is because, at this point, 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. 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.

And anyway, do you know how annoying kids are for people who do not have kids? It's already totally over the top how many concessions people with kids get vs. people without kids. My cousin, for example, is a doctor, and when her colleague went on maternity leave early, my cousin was asked to cover for her because everyone in the practice has kids except for my cousin. This is routine behavior in corporate life (I know — I benefit from it all the time at my own company where I'm the only one with kids.)

So what we don't need is a day when people’s kids come into the office, disrupt everyone, eat all the good snacks and use up all the good office supplies. The disruption serves little purpose except to remind people without kids that kids are the center of the universe.

So I think this holiday is BS, and kids understand that they can be anything they want to be, so I don't see a point in dragging them to work. Which is why I didn't.

I ignored the holiday last year. And when I picked my son up at school, he said, “It's Take Children to Work Day. Are you taking me to your work?”

I say, “What? How do you know it's that day? Who told you?”

“My teachers brought their children to school because school is their work.”

What? Is this legal? My kids are in Madison, WI public schools. Surely it is not legal for teachers to bring their own kids into the classroom.

But before I can decide what to do about this, my son says, “I want to go to your work.”

How can I say no? I try to think of a way, believe me. But I don't have the heart.

The problem is that there is nothing in my office. Just some books.

So I buy a bunch of cookies from the coffee shop across the street from my office, and I borrow the white board from Photis and magic markers from Ryan Paugh. And my son draws on the board in between bites of cookies.

He says, “Take Your Child to Work Day is boring, let's go home.”

Maybe this is a victory.

126 replies
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  1. Puf
    Puf says:

    Love the honest assesment of TYCTW, you said what so many people are afraid to say. I, as a, by choice, non-breeder dread they infusion of sugared up children into the office, when I’ve got work to do.

  2. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    While normally I disagree with most of your more opinionated posts (wait.. which one’s arent opinionated?), I have to agree on this one.

    If anything, Take Your Kids To Work day only tells them what you’ve done, not what they can do. We should have them go to work with people doing things they’ve expressed interests in. I hope my kids never do exactly what I did, but instead do exactly what they dream to do.

  3. Lance Haun
    Lance Haun says:

    I dislike Take Your Child To Work day mainly for selfish reasons. It is obnoxious to ask the childless HR pro in your office to determine what a bunch of 7-16 year olds would like to do while their parents get a free pass to screw around during the day. Yes, amazingly I have much more important things to work on other than entertaining somebody else’s kid for eight hours.

    Like you said though, this day probably meant something and accomplished something at some point in history. I don’t think it is doing anything other than saving parents some child care costs.

  4. ioana
    ioana says:

    Oh I’ve seen those child free folk in action. Frankly I think they need a hobby. Oh yes – they have a hobby, which is bickering about how the lives of the people with children are boring, exhausting, too easy, selfish, too selfless, etc etc etc ad nauseam. They constantly brag about how their lives are more interesting then mine and how having a child would put a dumper on their travel plans. I’m sure. They constantly complain about children acting like children – but they themselves act like the worst type of brats.

    Even if my child sometimes uses inappropriate tone of voice in a public place, and I know it – I will not defer to these bitter people and their judgement of us.

    They can bite me.

  5. LPC
    LPC says:

    At the risk of starting a firestorm akin to the Why I Hate David inferno I am going to say something really controversial. Bleach is usually drunk not eaten.

  6. gudnuff
    gudnuff says:

    I’m at work, with my daughter, right now. She’s down the hall, playing her DS in somebody’s empty office that I’m doing some work in. I had to come back to my office for a second to do something. As soon as I sit down at my computer, to do what I need to do for the person down the hall, my fingers automatically take me to my blogroll, because that’s what they do. Every day. And do I want my daughter to know that my fingers take me to my blogroll, every day, while I’m “at work”? No, I do not. This is why I do not like Take Your Child To Work Day. Because I do not want my child to figure out exactly what…uh…”work”…I do at my desk, necessarily, while she is slaving away at school learning how to divide and what “simple machines” are, taking spelling tests, meeting her reading goal for the week. It should be Take Your Child to Your Kickass Job Or Else Stay Away While We Slack Day. I mean, if she got to see me save the world or something, that’d be one thing. But watch me write another blog post? Meh. I’d rather she didn’t know, thank you very much. Actually, what I’m doing for the person down the hall is pretty cool, if you care about unified communications and even know what a fax is. But she doesn’t. And she couldn’t care less. I know, because I tried to explain the relevancy to her. I basically got a big fat “Is it time for lunch yet? Oh, look! I just earned the diamond gem stone by killing Eviltor and now I’m on the top level of this game!” response. Yes, this is an enlightening experience. But not for her. For me…in a does-my-job-totally-suck-and-is-my-kid-THAT-pathetic kind of way. So, yes. I’m with you. Let’s abolish this thing. This TYCTWD is not helping either of us.

    • Jonathan
      Jonathan says:

      I agree, my kids are young and still think I’m a superhero. I want them to enjoy life while they can and not think about how boring Dad’s job really is.

  7. Ann
    Ann says:

    I agree 100%. I was raised in the 80s and 90s by two full-time working parents, and they would sometimes take me to work with them – when I was sick and they couldn’t find child care. (My dad was the boss, so no one gave him any grief about having his daughter camp out in his office with him all day). It was incredibly boring, and I don’t think I actually learned anything new about what my dad did on the days I spent with him.

    That said, I learned plenty about my parents’ jobs by visiting them at work for a half-hour here and there, going on family vacations that coincided with professional conferences, meeting their co-workers, and listening to them talk at the dinner table. Parents can teach kids about what it means to have a job and love your work in much more effective ways than spending an entire day with them at the office.

  8. Wil Butler
    Wil Butler says:

    This never really made sense to me either, and I was pretty much on the end of the group of people who were supposed to benefit from it, just barely before women started outperforming men at almost everything, which I generally think is due to a shift in the way the world works from benefiting men to benefiting women, but I try not to get into that because most women start hitting me as soon as I do.

    Anyway, my mother (software support representative) took me to her cube a few times over the years. It was pretty dull, and I never really enjoyed it, strange that I ended up working in almost the exact same atmosphere that I found so boring as a child. Maybe the whole point was to get me used to the life I could eventually count on.

    Maybe it was supposed to be some kinda “enjoy what you have now, because once you grow up, the fun’s over” lesson. Maybe she was trying to show me that women had as much opportunity in the “new workplace” as men, a lesson that I don’t think I really needed being as I lived with her and I knew perfectly well that a woman could be just as successful and just as good of a role model as a man.

    Whatever the lesson of this little ritual was, it was ultimately lost on me.

  9. Aylad MacOdys
    Aylad MacOdys says:

    Probably this is my first time commenting, so hi.

    My wife and I both grew up in families where we only had a very vague idea of what our fathers actually did for a living… despite living with both parents. I’m sure neither of our fathers’ workplaces would have wanted us messing around, but I do kind of wish I knew more about Dad’s actual work duties. Maybe it should be “National Ask-Your-Dad-About-Work Day”… only then it’d have to be on a Saturday so that he wouldn’t be all mad at us for asking after a long, hard day.

    P.S… currently my wife and I are child-free, so yes, the thing about co-workers with kids being annoying as crap is spot on. Thanks for acknowledging it.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Hi, Aylad. Thanks for the nice debut comment :)

      You bring up a great point that how we talk to our kids about our work on a regular basis matters so much more than whether we bring our kids to work for manufactured, inauthentic work-is-for-kids hoopla.

      Kids should know the real emotions behind work: Why we make the choices we make, how it feels, what are our hopes and dreams.

      -Penelope

  10. eliz
    eliz says:

    TYCTWD is useless, and not because it inconvenienced the childfree folks. They can suck it. The only thing TYCTWD accomplished was to assuage some parental guilt. I don’t think any children ever came away with an accurate idea of what it was their parents did for a living, and any parent who actually thought their relationship with their child was improved by this time spent together was mistaken.

    The feminists who came up with Take Your Daughter Blah Blah are to blame for a whole host of problems. I am of the generation victimized by their ill-thought-out quackery and it’s a bit of a mission for me to make sure my daughter is free to make her own decisions based on facts and not the agenda of a movement that was supposedly working to make my life better.

  11. GenerationXpert
    GenerationXpert says:

    I completely agree with you. And I remember when it was “Take your daughter to work day.” And I think in may ways the feminists of the 1970s left Gen X women a steaming pile of shit to clean up.

    In addition to all the reasons you cited, I do not need to take my girls to work with me, because they already know they can do anything. They were shocked – no SHOCKED – to find out my current boss is a guy. Since they’ve been born, my husband and I have always had women bosses and we discuss work at the dinner table. I don’t even think it occurred to them that bosses could be male.

  12. cara
    cara says:

    Taking kids to work confuses me as to who gets my attention. I go to work to escape. If I forget to eat lunch thats ok. But if I have a bratling with me, I have to wear work and Mom hats at the same time.
    No thanks, the schools can scrap this one.

  13. Sean Platt
    Sean Platt says:

    I totally agree. Taking your children to work is skating along the razor’s edge of history anyway. How about let your children Tweet with you day instead?

  14. Carol Saha
    Carol Saha says:

    I have to try to remember to read your postings as soon as they come up in my reader. Otherwise, I miss half the comments. For some reason I like reading them in my email more than on your site. I don’t usually read your postings right away because they are long and they make me think. I need time for yours. My mom was a stay at home mom until I was a teenager then she started a home business. My dad drove a truck. Until the company stopped him for insurance reasons he took us with him on his runs sometimes. It was fun. It didn’t make me want to be a truck driver though.

  15. Joselle
    Joselle says:

    I used to go to my mom’s job (a hospital where she was a nurse) when I was a kid. Not for TYCTWD but because we lived across the street from the hospital and I would go there to ask for stuff or meet her or hang out if there was no one to watch me. Everyone seemed to think I was adorable but of course, many of them probably thought I was annoying, too (and I was an almost mute, very shy child).

    I think taking your kid to work could make them realize they don’t want your job, which seems to have been the case with your son. That’s how I felt. When my mother’s boss asked if I wanted to be a nurse, I said, “No. I don’t want to work on the weekends.”

    I think this official day is probably unnecessary but sometimes parents take their kids to work because they (a) are showing them off or (b) they have to.

  16. Enrique S
    Enrique S says:

    Last year, my company held a very organized Take Your Child to Work Day. There were exhibits, demonstrations of our products (I work for a defense contractor), and activities. It was pretty successful. Contrast this to the last company that I worked for, where bands of small children ran screaming up and down the halls all day. When it’s done right, it serves its purpose, but I can see your point.

  17. Bethany
    Bethany says:

    I actually loved Take Your Daughter to Work Day when I was a kid. Yes, my dad did adjust his schedule a bit that day (my mom was a freelance writer at the time and my dad worked 10 hours most days) but it made me grateful for all the nice things I had because of what he did all day. In addition, I got to see that schmoozing with clients can involve being genuine, that being a lawyer involves a lot of research, and in general better understand what my dad meant when he said “I spent the day on the phone” (it never had occured to me that actually meant being on the phone all day).

    I don’t have any kids but a few people in my office bring theirs to work sometimes. So long as the kids are well behaved, I have no problem with them.

    And while women are doing great in many respects, it’s still bizarre to look at the upper levels and the weird imbalance we see. I find it troubling that the Supreme Court is so heavily male when some issues require decisions that are not only based in law, but in being human. That the female justice was the only one who seemed to understand how awful it is to strip search a young girl seems more than just coincidence to me.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      First of all, I love the comments on my blog so much I could just hug everyone. Especially today. Because I’m realizing that what is really interesting about Take Your Child to Work is the history of it.

      It’s fun to read this comment from Bethany, and all the others about what it was like to go to work with parents when we were kids. Work was so different then.

      So I want to contribute: My mom was a punch card operator. She let me use punch cards to make flip books. Maybe that’s why, as an adult, I think work is so fun :)

      -Penelope

      • Bethany
        Bethany says:

        I feel so special :) We used leftover evidence boards (before my mom was a writer, she was a lawyer, too) for posters at home. In retrospect, I’m grateful she did environmental law and nothing violent!

    • Jennifer Lynn
      Jennifer Lynn says:

      @Bethany, I’m so glad you mentioned that Supreme Court case. I was thinking about including it in my comment as well.

      Maybe Take Your Child to Work Day should be canceled– maybe not, but I think this one day is not really the point. As Penelope says, the day was initially created to show girls that they could do anything. Now, girls and young women are doing as well as, or better than their male counterparts. But women are still under-represented in important positions of influence and power, such as the Supreme Court. The result is a court full of male justices alternatively laughing and harrumphing about the idea that it could be wrong to force (FORCE!) a 13-year old child to strip and shake out her bra and panties, exposing herself, in front of adults (check out the women at XX Factor/Slate for an interesting discussion).

      Penelope delves into the issues that cause women to be left out a lot on this blog, and I think that’s the conversation that’s worthwhile–fixing the problem– TYCTWD or no. Let’s not dismiss the day without acknowledging the fact that one of the goals of its creation has not been met.

  18. Steve
    Steve says:

    Take your Child to Work day is important if for no other reason than to show your child that being an adult who has to work can suck. Otherwise your children might grow up thinking that Adults are really lucky since they can eat what they want, don’t have parents who boss them around, and can watch whatever they want on TV. A bunch of spoiled and entitled children learning that they have to work to earn a living is can be a valuable lesson for them to learn if “Take your child to work day” is well executed.

  19. So Cal Al
    So Cal Al says:

    When I take my own son to work, never on TYCTWD, it’s hours of boredom for him and distractions for me. The fascination wears off quickly. However, I loved the visits to my father’s office as a child in the 70’s. They were infrequent and brief, just long enough to tour the floor, greet his colleagues, and then play with the dictating machine. I loved to experience the buzz of his office and meet his colleagues, who were as curious about me as I was of them. I could pretend to be an adult. As a teenager I dropped by his office a few times, just to surprise him and have a look around. Like “Ann”, I learned a lot about the office environment and the kinds of people who worked there. My brief impressions, now fond memories, really made me think about where I might like to work one day. I’d like to think that my son has some of those as well.

    • Ann
      Ann says:

      And like you, Al, I also LOVED the dictaphone. I bet there are many children of the 70s/80s who have similar memories. Thanks for helping me remember some fun little details from my past.

  20. talea
    talea says:

    I think taking your child to work days are crap, but why all the bitter hostility? It was/is one day a year. Get over it.

    And to be honest, maybe your kids appreciate having 20 more minutes of their parents’ attention for a day.

    There are much more important things on which to focus your intellectual abilities.

    • Carol
      Carol says:

      I think the hostility comes from having to deal with co-workers who think every day is TYCTWD.

      Seriously, parents, bring your kid a book or some paper and pencils or something. I know very few adults who can make it through 8 hours with no activity. Why do we expect children to do it?

  21. MFR
    MFR says:

    For little companies, TYCTWD does not make sense. I agree. However big companies understand that the workforce is slimming down. TYCTWD is considered a recruiting event.

    My industry in particular faces an incredible shortage of math minded kids that will replace our aging Engineers.

    So we spend half the day shooting rockets in the parking lot with 9 year olds. We then hand out cool toys with our company name on them so that they all go home saying they want to become engineers like dad or grandpa and build airplanes at X company.

    So there you have it: a new way to look at TYCTWD.

  22. Maggie
    Maggie says:

    I could not agree more, on all counts. What take your kid to work day means to my kids is that they get to miss school. My kids couldn’t care less what I do at work; actually, they already know: nothing much. Sit at a computer and do what appears to them to be surfing the internet and playing on Facebook and Twitter. Same stuff I do at home, except, as you said, when I’m at work there are other people around who are also trying to work and don’t want to see my kids–just like I don’t want to see their kids while I’m at work.

    I just told my daughter “pretend I don’t have a job” and sent her to school.

  23. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    Thank you for being a parent and recognizing that those of us without children really get tired of paying the price for it. Not only in taxes, but all the days we stay late while coworkers to go soccer etc.

    I love children, but I’d rather see them in school as they are already behind the global curve. Or if they must go to the office, call it “put your child to work” day. Make them work to let them see how good they have it at school and home.

    Thank you for talking about the things others won’t…you are refreshing and fun to read.

  24. Traingolfguy
    Traingolfguy says:

    My kids’ school has gone so far as to send home notes saying don’t take your child to work on the designated holiday. The kids miss a day of school and the district loses state funding for each absence.

    The company I work for sponsors a day in the summer as an official kids visiting day instead of TYCTWD. I’ve never brought my kids because I have a “work anywhere” job. They see how I work when I’m working at home – always on the phone and the computer. They get really bored really fast when they watch me work.

  25. Danja
    Danja says:

    I completely agree with the sentiments expressed above. If you are going to take your child to work for TYCTWD, then the company should give the childless employees the day off. My daughter is too young (3.5 years old), but I know that I would not get any work done with her in the office no matter how old she is. And I know she would be bored out of her mind watching me write code.

  26. Shefaly
    Shefaly says:

    PT:

    Amused by the post.

    It is coincidental but worth a mention that in the UK last night’s episode of Desperate Housewives was A Spark. To Pierce The Dark. In which Gaby takes her two girls to see daddy at work and some interesting misunderstandings happen with a colleague of Carlos, who assumes the girls must be the cleaner’s children (ouch!). It was funny in the way DH is funny, rather subversive but on the ball.

    PS: I am curious about who invents these days.

  27. Donna Noble
    Donna Noble says:

    Just because you don’t see the value it should be canceled for everyone? Do you know that the very, very few times that my dad took me to work made a HUGE impression on me! Working fast food jobs in high school and comparing it to my dad’s interesting office job motivated me to work hard to pay for, go to, and graduate college. (With no support from my parents as my dad had the old-fashioned view that women didn’t need to go to college. That wasn’t so long ago and I’ve heard many parents still spout that point-of-view these days!)

    It might not be as important or interesting to young boys who are more likely to be taken to work by their parents anyway or to belong to clubs that offer insights into interesting careers but this is still an important experience for our daughters! Our company doesn’t participate in Take your Kids to work day anymore and my children have never seen my office nor will they ever be allowed to see what I do at work as that one day a year was the only day that children were allowed to step foot in our building. What a shame that I can’t share the possibility to plant a little seed of career interest in my children. My children say they want to be teachers when they grow up…because the only job they ever get to experience is at their school. Teaching is fine but maybe this is why there are too many teachers for too few jobs.
    Things have not changed as much as you might think.

    It’s only one day or 1/2 a day a year…. let those of us who still see the value of it for our daughters keep it!

  28. the other Amy
    the other Amy says:

    I think it depends on where you work. If you work in a cube farm, skip it. What are your kids going to learn by watching you stare at a computer all day? At my current job, they don’t allow TYCTWD.

    When I worked in the lab, it was great. The kids got to wear lab coats and safety goggles. The older kids were allowed to run some of the test equipment. Even the non-breeders, like me, enjoyed it.

  29. Mary
    Mary says:

    Oh the horrible memories…

    My private catholic elementary school made a really big deal about this event when I was in 4th grade…making us find out what my parents did (janitor at a high school & o-ring molder) and where and for how long and all kinds of stuff that I was okay with until the actual going to work with my mom (as it was 110 degrees inside my dad’s factory and he worked the 7pm -3am shift, we weren’t going there).

    My older brother and I “shadowed” my mom knowing that the next day, in our respective classrooms, we would have to stand in front of our classes and talk about my mom and how she emptied trash cans! and cleaned toilets! and washed the faculty’s dishes!

    We decided to blatantly lie and said she was the school receptionist. My teacher knew I was lying (from all those assignments before the fact) but never told on me.

    They didn’t have “take your kid to work” after that at all. Instead they had (and continue to have) career fair-style presentations and field trips for the older kids, which seems much less trauma-inducing.

  30. A Parent
    A Parent says:

    A breeder is someone who has children with no intention of fulfilling society’s most important role of parent. You wouldn’t call a black man a n****, so use the same common sense and respect when referring to parents. Adults who prefer not to have children, and those adults who would love to have a child or adopt a child but cannot also deserve more dignity than to call them non-breeders. As for “Take your Child to Work Day” – it can be a very positive experience if the HR/volunteers put some age-appropriate and fun learning activities together. This worked out well at Autodesk and eBay and other employers. It wasn’t actually angry-white males who changed it from daughters to include boys. It was primarily single moms who had sons. The point that boys need this as much if not more than girls is valid given the assault on masculinity by the feminist-controlled family court system and media. This special day only happens once a year, unlike, “Take your stinking dog to work day – every day” so it can fart, bark, mooch food and annoy those workers who don’t bring their domestic animals to work. This was a terrible policy at Autodesk.

  31. Liza
    Liza says:

    I liked going to my mom/dads work. At my moms, we screwed around and she let me play solitaire on the computer. At my dads, he dug dirt, so I played in the giant dirt piles and stayed away from him in his big machine the whole time.

    But honestly, the only thing i gained was that I liked being in an office then working with dirt.

    And it was a day away from school. I loved that.

  32. Alicia
    Alicia says:

    Add Bosses Day and Administrative Assistants Day to the list of really stupid work related “Salute Days”. It’s just another way to shake down a Hallmark card, a free lunch or a half day of work. That being said, my 3 year old gets plenty of exposure to what mom does every day. She has her own (nonworking) cell phone and (real) laptop computer and frequently tells me, “Mom I need work”. Vastly different situation than when I was a kid.

  33. MJ
    MJ says:

    We didn’t have any kids in our office because we’d probably scare the hell out of them and scar them. The angry secretary would rip into them too, and then they’d overhear one of the senior people observing re 20 more years in this field “Jesus, give me the gun right now.”

    It is better that we they don’t know. Fresh meat…

  34. lain
    lain says:

    back when i was 15 my mom took me to work (it was still called “take your daughter to work day”). she was a case manager for a community mental health center. i just graduated (yesterday was my last class, actually) and i am about to start a job as a case manager in a couple of weeks.

  35. Facie
    Facie says:

    Good stuff. I never took my daughter, now 5, to TYCTWD. Mostly because I had work to do, and how could I get it done with a baby, toddler, preschooler. Had I not been laid off last month and actually still had a job, I still would not have taken her for an entire day.

    Over the past few years, I had brought her to the office a few times for about an hour at a time. This led her to think my job was about eating lunch, playing with Sam the dog, and going for a walk after lunch. Maybe had I taken her for an entire day, she would have realized it was not that fun. But she will have so much more disappointment in life, so why ruin that image now!

  36. ame i.
    ame i. says:

    Now I feel like a very crappy parent for not celebrating last week! At 9 & 11, I consider my daughters to be young children.
    I don’t think either would survive 9 hours at work with my husband. They love riding up and down the elevator & writing on his wipe-off board, but the thrill wouldn’t last for 9 hours.

  37. Meredith
    Meredith says:

    My dad worked for a large construction company, doing estimates for bids on the various projects. As a kid, I would go with him to work (not TYCTWD, but during the summer), and each time, I would update my drawing of the “Estimating Machine”. He would frame them and hang them up on his office wall.

    And I specifically remember one day, I was about 5 years old (so this was about 1980), and I sang along to “Morning Train” by Sheena Easton on the radio as my dad drove.

    My love of singing in the car during my commute is still going strong. The estimating…not so much.

  38. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    I’m childless, and I don’t necessarily object to having a day to bring your kids in and show them what you do. But at my last company the kids never even came into the work areas. As far as I know, they stayed in the main conference room, doing crafts and watching movies. Maybe the in-house video team went down and did some video activity with them.

    While I recognize that this was better than kids running up and down the halls screaming, I also wonder what was the point. It seemed like the company was just babysitting kids for free for one day.

  39. Amber Warren
    Amber Warren says:

    I can’t imagine a full day of work with my kid in tow . . . OH WAIT I DO THAT EVERY DAY, since I work from home. It’s so hard to work with a toddler that I can’t believe there is a holiday trying to encourage such a thing. The only time I get things done (real things done – not just answering emails and putting fires out over the phone) is during nap times.

  40. Allie
    Allie says:

    As a high school teacher, I find this just one more way of rendering the educational system useless. I go to great lengths to put together lesson plans for a variety of regular ed, special ed, and ell students during both my daytime and nighttime hours, analyze scores, pick curriculum that fits individual students, and attend a variety of personal events outside the school day, while we nationally sanction reasons to remove children from the classroom. And now I am reading that kids are playing video games in a room down the hall, while their parents blog. In just a few short years of teaching, it has become abundantly clear that people really don’t care about the education of their children at all.

    I could actually make a concession to this Take Your Daughter and Son to Work day, if it would be recognized in SUMMERTIME and did not interfere with the regular school year (BTW, late April is one of the WORST times for students to take off since we are nearing the end of the school year and every grade and day counts!). But this fails to be a priority for most. And according to the TYDSTW website, the kids should fall between the ages of 8-18, however my engineer husband has reported that most of these precious little darlings are by far younger than 8. Sounds like an excuse for a play day to me and another finger given to educators everywhere (as if we don’t have enough of these already). No wonder the American educational system is the laughing stock around the world.

    • Mike
      Mike says:

      Well said.

      If I recall correctly, it was no accident that ‘Take Your Daughter To Work’ was set on a school day instead of in the summer. The folks who came up with the idea wanted there to be special gender awareness lesson plans used on that day in school to teach the boys about the oppression society imposes on females. Thankfully at least that failed, but it is a shame that the day is still on a school day.

  41. Dave Atkins
    Dave Atkins says:

    I agree with you here. Unless you have a job that would be interesting to to kid, don’t inflict your workspace on them. A better idea would be “take your parent to school” day.

  42. Bruce > The BIG Desk
    Bruce > The BIG Desk says:

    Is this an actual holiday? I hope your kidding. I’m writing from Canada and haven’t heard of it. Seriously – sounds like a joke. My boy(2) comes by about once every couple of months and I love it when he does. Even at a young age I think it’s fun for him to know where I am all day plus I just love showing him off!

    – also wanted to mention that I thought your post on blogging for money was terrific. I twittered it and mentioned it in a recent post.

  43. Mark F.
    Mark F. says:

    P,
    My daughter loved coming to work with me on this day every yr. She wants to do something related to Engineering and I would have her spend time with our product developement/engineering execs where they would show her how to use CAD equipement and software (solidworks). Its not for every kid and may have run its course for most individuals, but like anything all coins have two sides. There are kids and parents that can get something out of this if done right. Who knows my daughter might go to Stamford or M.I.T. to be a software engineer someday because she had a positive experience…I can bring her anytime for this kind of experience, but having a day provided a convenient opportunity. If there wasn’t a set aside day for this I would probably not have opted for this and who knows if she would feel the same about what she might want to do some day as a vocation.
    Just thought I would give you an unpopular perspective…
    M

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