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Organized 101Kids on the Clock
How to take care of kids and work. Whether it is to offset the costs of child care, to be able to spend just a little extra time with your child, to avoid taking a day off when the youngster is sick, or the commonly dreaded Take your Child to Work Day, employers are seeing many more young ones traveling the corridors than ever before.
More than a few decades ago, the family dynamic was a slightly simpler than it is today. Father earned a fair wage working Monday through Friday, while Mother stayed home to tend to the children and the home. Dinner was served at six, the children were in bed by eight, the bills were paid and even the family dog was content. Fast forward to current times; in most cases, both Mom and Dad have to work to pay for the mortgage, the car, the cell phone bills, and don’t forget about the college savings! Children tend to spend more time at school or daycare than they do in their homes, and Mr. Fluffers has seen many a lonely day. It’s no wonder that many parents are beginning to bring their children to the office with them. For some, there are no other options.
Safety First: This goes without saying, but survey your surroundings. Most offices are relatively safe for a child but you certainly don’t want to take any chances. Things that may seem harmless to an adult can spell danger for a kid. Loose wires running from the fax machine to the outlet, lamp cords, phone and network cables in conspicuous places; these can be trip hazards for most children and strangulation or electrocution hazards for the younger bunch if a keen eye isn’t kept. Offer to solve these problems for your employer with some inexpensive cord covers and wire management products; he just might appreciate your initiative. Keep scissors and staplers off of your desktop; even tape dispensers can harm little hands. Most importantly, remember: what appears to be a boring battery back-up to a grown-up looks like a fun toy with lights and beeping noises to a toddler, so make sure your child never has access to underneath your desk, or any other area where power may be run. Also on the No list are shredders, pencil sharpeners, envelope openers, permanent and dry erase markers, boxes of staples, ink/toner cartridges, desktop cleaning wipes/sprays, and air dusters.
They work hard for the money: If your child is a little older, around six years and up, you may be surprised at how helpful they can be. Go ahead and create a job description for your child. For example, if your child is on the younger side, you can explain to them that their responsibilies include taking scrap paper to the recycle bin, sorting your paper clips by color or size, or ‘pretend filing’. For an older child, you may want to type up their tasks, which could include alphabetizing files, transcribing notes, distributing memos, or other age-appropriate tasks. To really please them, you can offer them their ‘paycheck’ after a hard day of work, whether it is a crisp $10 bill or a tasty treat.
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