White Sox designated hitter Adam LaRoche retired last week, walking away from a $13 million salary because he was told to "dial it down" and leave his teenager home more often. Simply stated: Bringing your child to work every day is not a home run!
Where in this country can you bring your child to work every day -- and in this case, give them their own gear and locker, including a monogrammed chair? Even under the pretext of "Family First!" this privilege was abused.
The original concept, Take Our Daughters to Work, was created by Gloria Steinem in 1992 who responded to the dropout rate of young girls by the eighth grade. The day was designed to empower girls and give them a glimpse of the work-a-day world. The initiative evolved to include boys experiencing the same issues and 10 years later became Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work. As participants have grown and the concept evolved, rules have been rewritten, boundaries have been drawn and until now, over 37 million participants have largely adhered.
Giving an impressionable young adult the opportunity to experience what it means when they say, "I want to be a teacher/doctor/quarterback too," opens a window and adjusts the lens to observe a reality different from that which may be viewed on TV. Seeing how adults function, react and interact with peers and managers, and exposing them to where you spend so many waking hours is designed to be enlightening and inspirational and at the same time, make memories and foster bonding. Children are also more likely to appreciate your time and commitments outside of the home. The experience and fun of the daily commute, a cup of coffee and breaks with you are not to be underestimated.
The day is designed to educate, inspire and give them an appreciation for the value of work and how they can make a difference in society -- not provide daycare or a parent/child buddy system. Professionalism and respect for authority are key takeaways.
Meeting your manager and colleagues, whose names they probably know, seeing your office and office space, with their pictures and artwork plastered proudly as wallpaper is intoxicating.
The one-on-one personal interactions this day promotes cannot be overstated. Getting kids' heads out of devices and into the trenches with people is key. Letting children know what is expected of them is important. Prepare for the day by practicing handshaking, introductions, making eye-contact, giving more than one word answers, etc. Teach youngsters to say, "it's nice to meet you (name of person)" -- when introduced, while making eye-contact.
- Predetermine when, where, how long they visit.
- Probably plan a longer-than-usual lunch break.
- Arrange an interactive element of the day, from a panel discussion to using a cash register, to helping with research.
Abusing this worthy initiative demonstrates a lack of professionalism and respect for authority, including teammates. This parent is not setting a good life example, his actions are not "empowering or inspirational" and the White Sox player illustrates a dim-witted model of how to handle adversity, certainly not tenets of the Day as set forth by Ms. Steinhem.
Judith Bowman, speaker and business protocol coach, is president and founder of Judith Bowman Enterprises and Author of "Don't Take the Last Donut and "How to Stand Apart @ work." She may be reached at Judith@protocolconsultants.com.