Parenting: Career Day
March 23, 2012 (WPVI) -- I spent one morning at my son Billy's high school at the 10th grade Career Symposium.
I spoke with several groups of students about my career path and what I do here at Action News.
Speakers, in other sessions, included doctors, lawyers, engineers and an array of parents who work in other professions. The students seemed attentive, which is good and I don't think I totally embarrassed my son, which is a HUGE relief.
I think most kids are only vaguely aware of what their friends' parents do for a living. When you're the kid whose mom is on TV, it can be an issue.
I really try to be just like everyone else's mom, and I think my kids see my career not a whole lot different. Every once in a while, they'll have to sit at a restaurant when a viewer recognizes me and starts a conversation about a story I've covered, or maybe shares their opinion about one of my co-workers. This can be awkward.
I think my kids share some experiences with ministers' kids, where they experience some pressure to act a certain way in public and sometimes feel they have to "share" their parents when they don't want to.
There are certainly many occasions where the demands of my job forces me to miss certain events in their lives. Just last Saturday, when I was working, I missed Billy's guitar recital, Micah's playoff basketball game, and picking Jason up at the airport for his Spring Break from college.
They also reap the benefits of being the "TV Lady's" kids. Since our station is owned by The Disney Company, we get discounts at Disney World, and my sons have visited there several times.
They've gotten to ride on a float in the Thanksgiving Day parade and go bowling with members of the Phillies. They attend Channel Six day at the Philadelphia Zoo, and they've been on the news, taking part in some of my Parenting Perspectives, which is all pretty cool stuff.
You don't have to be in TV for your kids to take an interest in, and yes, even be impressed, by your job. I think it's great when parents take their kids to work for a day.
As a child, I went to my dad's hardware store in South Philadelphia on occasion, and he'd let me push the start button on the key-cutting machine. I watched him treat his customers with patience and respect, and find them the perfect tools for the jobs they needed.
I saw that he liked helping his customers, and took pride in the ownership of his store. He didn't have a so-called "glamour" job like mine - but for the customer who needed a specific wrench to fix a leaky pipe, my dad was a hero.
Looking at the pros and cons from my sons' perspectives, I don't think my job is all that different from what many other parents do. It's important that all parents let their children know what they do all day - what puts food on the table, a roof over their heads, and makes mom or dad miss an important event.
In addition to letting kids know what we do, I think it's ok to let them know how we feel about our jobs. Everyone has a frustrating day at work now and then, but we set a great example by heading back into our jobs the next day.
Sharing our work lives with our kids, makes for good life lessons as they will likely will be balancing jobs and families of their own some day.
amy buckman parenting reports, parenting, amy buckman
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