What does your Dad do at work?

The subject of Dads and work came up on Friday as Cooper was drawing a picture of his family. He made his Father and Mother at work. He drew his Dad and then hesitated. I asked, "what does your Father have at his work?" He replied that his Father had a computer, which he drew. Hoping to encourage more detail, I asked what his Dad did at work. "Well, he works. He just works. Sometimes he talks on the phone."
Cooper may know more than he let on, but then again I have often had this conversation with young children. They know their Father goes to work, and sometimes they know the name of the job he has, but very few have ever given me details of what their Father actually does during the day. They often really don't seem to know.

I wonder if Men, like the Father in my own family, feel the details are too complicated to explain, or maybe that they are too dull to talk about?
I'd like to encourage all grownups to talk a little more about what they do during the day, providing a mental picture for their young children.
Manya seemed to know more about her Father's work; "He sees people, and sometimes he touches them. Other times he talks on the phone to people." Can you guess Manya's Fathers profession? He is a Doctor.

Cooper's Mom is a yoga teacher and he drew her upright and smiling, and again on her yoga mat, standing on her hands. I wonder if he sees her practicing during the day, so has more of an idea what her job looks like?

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  1. It's true, I've had similar conversations, but I've never thought to question the idea that it's too complicated/boring for kids. My father was a transportation engineer and all I knew, really, was that he "designed roads" and brought home cool maps for my brother and me to color. Oh, and his office had an atrium with a fountain in the middle. On those rare occasion that Dad took us to the office on weekends, my brother and I spent the entire time dropping paperclips into the fountain from the three floors up. I remember thinking that Dad was lucky to work there, but wouldn't have been able to tell you what he did other than draw roads on paper.

    If a parent loves his/her job it makes perfect sense that they should share that enthusiasm. Chance are, their child will find many of the same things interesting that you do.

    Being a teacher is different. My daughter has always known what I do, but I recall one time when she was in kindergarten or first grade when she was finally provoked to shouting at her business executive mom, "But what exactly do you DO all day? I mean exactly! I know you talk on the phone, but what do you talk about?"

  2. Ha ha! I love your daughter's words, and will show them to my Husband...who is shy in talking about what exactly he does all day. Thanks for this, Teacher Tom, I've been smiling about it all day.

  3. Ruby says "mama gets money from the computer" because she gets that I earn a living that way.But she has no idea what I do.

    This post about daddies working reminds me of a day early in Ruby's first year at Sabot when I went to pick her up, and she exclaimed delightedly, "look everyone, I have a mother too!"

    Ahhh, right through the heart.


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