No, no, no. Do not do this. Do I sound like Grumpy Cat, or what? I’m serious. This is the fastest way to deep-six your career, and believe me, I’m family-friendly.
I know what it’s like to juggle a million things… and oops! What to do with the kids? Childcare or after school care or extracurriculars were cancelled at the last minute.
You’re juggling a lot… but you still need to be reasonable. Children and Business appointments generally don’t mix. Generally.
The other day, I had an important Meeting. I decided to take our oldest son, 20, to show him some of the ropes, explaining that he was not to say a word, that his main purpose in being there was to be another set of eyes and ears for various things. He agreed.
In we walked and a man, among others, whom I was meeting, brought his son. A younger teenaged son. Who should not have been there. Because this was my deal.
I was in shock.
But all turned out well. I had a 20-second talk with the young man, similar to my son’s talk, and he understood the importance of what was going down and discretion. Both kids did a superb job of blending into the walls and maybe learning a bit about business. I thanked them afterwards.
These things happen. However, it’s not always so fortunate.
I recall another friend and he would bring his young daughter to every meeting. Every meeting. The wife was a stay-at-home-artist who couldn’t function with the girl underfoot. So, during every school holiday and all summer long, the father had his preteen daughter, spanning from seven to twelve years old at the time, with him. Unfortunately, part of his job involved talking about intimate and detailed accounts of people’s finances.
He lost a lot of business. Clients didn’t feel like baring their bank accounts in front of his kid.
If you must, leave your child with supervision in a conference room or reception area for an hour. But never foist them on your employees, customers or clients. Maybe no one else will tell you, but you are placing your career in jeopardy. Really.
Thanks, I’m glad we had this talk.
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