Culture

Talking to Your Child About Labor Day

By: MaryFran Anderson

Labor Day…a welcome Monday off for most, often used to enjoy the end of Summer with family and friends. We here at Parkside like an extra day off for rest and relaxation just like anyone else, but we want to encourage you to utilize this federal holiday to interact with your children on a deeper, more emotional level—even in the smallest of ways.

Practical Ways to Talk to Your Child About Labor Day

  • Educate your child about the actual holiday.

    Obviously, keeping this age appropriate is key but don’t underestimate your child’s ability to learn and grow. If you have a one year old, make blueberry pancakes for breakfast and tell them, “Happy Labor Day!”. If  your oldest is three or four years of age, tell them that “This is a fun day that their parents get to spend extra time with them and celebrate all the people that have worked hard to make America strong and successful.” If you have a middle schooler, perhaps you talk about the origin of the actual holiday and even discuss what it may have been like to celebrate the original Labor Day in the 1800’s.

  • Use this day as an opportunity to discuss the growth of our nation and where our country has room to grow.

    No matter your political or spiritual perspective, I think we can all agree that our country is not perfect. Many working conditions have greatly improved in the United States but many remain toxic to say the least. Again, keep the conversation age appropriate but don’t be afraid to be honest with your child. Confidence, perspective, and desire for change can all be molded at a young age. Why not be the main contributor to your own child’s point of view?

  • Have you ever talked to your child about what you do? Labor Day is a great time to let your child know what you do for a living. 

    This can be as simple as telling them what you like most about your job or why you wear the uniform you wear for work. If you have a career where you actually work on Labor Day, explain to them why your serve your community in this way. You can even acknowledge how this makes you feel or how you wish you could spend the holiday with them or how your particular role is important for other’s safety or essential for our counrty’s day-to-day functions.

  • Ask your child what they want to do when they grow up.

    If your child is in highschool, ask them what subjects excite them. What topics naturally intrigue them in class? What prefered hobbies could they combine with their skill set to birth a career path? If your child is a bit younger, how can you inspire them pursure their passions?

  • Practice Safe Social Distancing.

    Labor Day is another big bar-b-que holiday, where many families have long standing traditions of gathering with loved ones. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still very much present here in the Upstate, so please try to celebrate outside, wear a face mask, and keep social events small and intimate.

  • Don’t forget to have fun.

    Like most holidays, there is a celebratory aspect to Labor Day that families should lean into when they can. Make an American flag with construction paper, decorate cupcakes with red and blue sprinkles, watch Zootopia and talk about the characters’ careers in the film (perhaps a stretch I know, but you get the idea).

Until next time,

MaryFran Anderson

Community Engagement Coordinator, mother of two, and guacamole enthusiast

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