This Wisdom of the Crowd, compiled from questions and responses posted on the Small Law Departments eGroup*, addresses possible activities to play with kids on Take Your Child To Work Day. The issues discussed include:
*(Permission was received from the ACC members quoted below prior to publishing their eGroup comments in this Wisdom of the Crowd resource.)
This Thursday is Take Your Children To Work Day and I have a 30 minute slot to speak with the kids. Last year, to teach the kids about contracts, I prepared a "Behavior Contract" for them to fill out and enter into with their parents. I am struggling to come up with a different topic for this year. Anyone have any good suggestions?
Wisdom of the Crowd
What about a tolerance/anti-discrimination bent to a discussion? I don't know what age group you are speaking to but it's never too early to teach lessons that will eliminate EPLI exposures later in life.1
Great idea about the tolerance program. Consider adding an anti-bullying message.
You may also want to consider a career discussion.2
If you don't have enough from the great suggestions so far, let me suggest one more: Discuss your IT's Acceptable Use Policy ("AUP").
AUPs exist in real life everywhere you use the internet or WIFI, are largely unknown and apply to everyone, subtlely address issues with ramifications inside and outside professional workplace life (e.g., social media postings, sexting, etc.) and should be immediately relevant and applicable to the listeners' activities at all age levels. Best of all, the presentation can largely be delegable to an IT individual who may have seen it all (allowing less time from you to devote to the exercise).3
Meeting expectations and deadlines -- or the importance of teamwork at work. Either is a solid topic kids will need to master.
Wage and hour exposures, though that may lead to frequent nightmares. It does for me.... (kidding, sort of).4
I did a negotiation with a group of kids at a "take your kids to work day". There were two teams, one with money and one with product. The kids need to be 1st or 2nd grade to really understand, but it was fun for the bigger kids and more interactive than a slide presentation.5
If they have friends/siblings they've squabbled with, perhaps have them try their hand at drafting a settlement agreement? Or perhaps an agreement regarding sharing of toys, sharing of TV/Computer/Xbox/etc. time or the like? In either case, you could tell them generally what elements they should include and have them take a draft at writing one up? You could kick start it with some of the structural elements filled in for them, but leave the substance for them to do.6
What a great idea last year -- I sure hope it was bilateral and not those unilateral ones I grew up with.
How about the "reasonable person" standard? It shows we do not have to be perfect and children inherently know what is fair. Examples would be cleaning the kitchen...leaving the pots and pans, is this what a reasonable person would do? It does not have to be all cleaning either -- it could be planning a day trip with the family - does only one person get to vote for everyone or does one person have to do everything for the trip.
My focus is regulatory in my corporate job. When I took a break from law (prior to this position) and taught aerospace to Chicago Public School children (k-8 and some h.s.), one of my lessons was on regulations or laws and why they were needed. Order vs chaos -- not a good thing when airplanes are trying to land or even driving to the airport. We discussed why rules were in place -- to bring order to an industry, protection to people (i.e. me), kindness, considerations, fairness -- driving rules represent these -- and if folks were fair and considerate less laws would be needed.
I would laugh inside when my 5 year olds would come up with other great examples -- they understood.
Although I have also been a college instructor and adjunct professor, teaching children taught me EVERYONE has an attention span of 6-8 minutes and adults are just polite not necessarily paying attention.
Enjoy your time with the children.7
How about a contract through which they can earn some money for services at home - extra work around the house, mowing the lawn, doing dishes, vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms (my kids favorite for earning extra cash), etc.? Or a contract for offering services to neighbors - yard work, mowing, painting, babysitting, etc.? Good luck!8
1 Rona Platt, Chief Legal Officer, The Wright Insurance Group, LLC; United States (Small Law Departments, April 24, 2013). 2 David Cohen, General Counsel, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; United States (Small Law Departments, April 24, 2013). 3 P. Bartlett Wu, Attorney; United States (Small Law Departments, April 24, 2013). 4 David Schonbrun, Head of Legal, Hiscox; United States (Small Law Departments, April 24, 2013). 5 Sarah Duranske, General Counsel, CBR Systems, Inc.; United States (Small Law Departments, April 25, 2013). 6 Michael Stewart, Corporate Legal Counsel, Canadian Internet Registration Authority; Ontario, Canada (Small Law Departments, April 24, 2013). 7 Karen McArdle, Compliance Counsel, LYNX Services, L.L.C.; United States (Small Law Departments, April 24, 2013). 8 Jennifer Hoopes, General Counsel, Foreside Financial Group, LLC; United States (Small Law Departments, April 24, 2013).