This is an actual conversation between my 4-year-old son and me.
“So, mom, how was work today?”
“It was fun. I’m on a team and we started a new project today.”
“Did you see you friends there?”
“Yes, I had lunch with Kaitlin and she brought in a treat to share with everyone.”
“That was very nice of her. Do you wanna play Transformers?”
Like any parent, I ask him about his preschool experience almost everyday. And I get a variety of responses, from “a magical leprechaun came and changed our milk green!” to “John wouldn’t play with me at the playground and I don’t have any friends.”
I thought it would be important for him to know what I was doing during the day as well – both the ups and downs.
My hopes for these conversations are two-fold. First, that we both can share details of our day with each other – and hopefully when he’s 10 he will continue to give me detailed answers – not just “it was ok!” Second, I do actually enjoy going to work each day. I want him to know that I enjoy working – even if there are ups and downs at times. Overall, it’s something I like and he should know that. It’s also been useful when relating to problems he has at school. At the most basic level, there’s quite the similarity between school issues and work issues and more importantly – how you can solve them.
I’ve brought him into the office a handful of times, introducing him to my colleagues – some of which he knows well by now – and let him sit at my desk to work on my computer and talk on the phone. I was invited to do the same with my father periodically throughout my childhood. Going to work with him was an eye-opening experience. It allowed me to see the bigger picture and the world outside of school (which incidentally helped me understand the concept of and be more productive in school). My father’s most powerful message to me was, “Do something you love. That way, you’ll never be ‘going to work’.” It was a lesson that he acted upon and, therefore, was easy for me to follow.
I hope to instill this same message in my son and to always have a great answer for “So, how was work today?”