I recently overhead someone complaining about a new pediatrician in town who lets her children come to work with her occasionally. Her husband is in practice with her and when they have their children in the office, the whole family is together. It is highly unusual, I think, for a family to want to be together, and to have the ability to be together during work hours will draw attention.
The opinion was that children do not belong in work environments.
I strongly disagree. I think children belong with their parents, and being in a place where they can learn what it is like to be a responsible adult is a bonus.
My 3 oldest children, ages 8, 11, and 13, go to work with my husband every day. They set their alarms, check the weather to determine appropriate dress, and are ready to go out the door with my husband to help him open up the golf shop.
Their main responsibility is to unplug the golf carts from their chargers in the cart barn and drive them up the hill to the golf shop where they park them and put the score cards and pencils in them for the golfers. They also make coffee, sweep the porch, run papers to the main office, and any other task my husband needs done.
When they are through with their jobs they run down to "Little Pond" before the golfers get to the course.There they play at pirates and Indian wars and catch all manner of critters to bring home.
Some of the things they have brought home from "Little Pond" are turtles, tadpoles, one three legged frog, a salamander, a chipmunk, and a cat skeleton. They examine these things and research them and make little habitats for them. All except for the cat skeleton. They want to reconstruct it and put it in a glass case as an exhibit.
The children all love to go to work with their daddy. Each one anticipates being old enough to help out Daddy so they can go to work, too. They take it very seriously, as does my husband. He needs their help and lets them know regularly that his job would be much more difficult and far less enjoyable without them.
In the meantime, the children are learning the value of being on time and doing a job well. They are learning to respond to customer complaints and criticisms, as well as praises. They are learning that some jobs need to be done in sunshine and rainy weather.
We think this is exactly where children belong.