Whether you participate in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day or your private day care suddenly cancels on you, you will likely have to provide childcare at work at some point in your career. This choice is a common one for modern families, especially given the current scarcity of childcare options for working parents. However, in order to accomplish this successfully, you’ll need more than a few activities for children in the workplace and your boss’s blessing; whenever possible, you should work to make the process easier for both your coworkers and your children. Check out the steps below to make childcare in the workplace a breeze!
Step One: Plan Ahead
No matter why you’re bringing your children into work with you, make sure to give your boss and your coworkers a heads up first. It can be surprising to see a child in the office, even if you have employer sponsored child care programs, and your peers will likely appreciate being warned that there might be little ears near the water cooler. You should also take steps to make sure your children will be as quiet and respectful as possible. Try packing a few quiet, engrossing activities for children in the workplace, as well as headphones, snacks and drinks for when they get tired, bored or hungry.
Step Two: Talk to Your Kids
Even the most well-behaved child will make a mistake or act out if they don’t understand what is expected of them. And this situation will be very different from their private day care. For this reason, make sure you lay down the ground rules beforehand, explain how the day will work, and run through the basic information again before you head to the office. To encourage good behavior, consider offering them a reward, even if it is something simple. Knowing that they need to be polite and quiet and that they have activities for children in the workplace and potentially a reward to look forward to can make the process significantly smoother.
Be Productive, But Make Time for Your Children
The average 4-year-old asks 437 questions a day, and for good reason: they’re forging important connections that will help serve them for the rest of their lives. While you shouldn’t neglect your responsibilities, don’t be afraid to take a few minutes to pay attention to your children, whether it’s just to answer a question or even to take a brief stroll to get some fresh air. Plan for interruptions and distractions; if you handle everything like the experienced parent you are, they won’t detract from your day as a whole.
No matter why you’re bringing your child into work with you, with the right steps, you can stay productive while keeping your family, coworkers and bosses happy. You might not be able to provide the same type of care that a private day care might, but your child will get a valuable look at the working world and your responsibilities. Help make your day a success with these tips!