Most of the time when I travel to conferences I bring along my children. My husband tends to work late so it’s a struggle for him to make it to two places before they close at 6:30. Luckily, the conferences I attend as a blogger also recognize that most women bloggers also happen to be moms and provide childcare for us as well. It’s a win/win and they come along. It’s awesome for me because I know that they’re in a safe place and can check in on them whenever I like. They like it because they get to spend the day playing.
My son’s latest experience with KidCon at Type-A Bootcamp at Walt Disney World changed all this. The schedule for the day listed sessions such as, “What is Networking?”, “Taking Awesome Pictures” & “Shooting Cool Video Everyone Wants to Watch.” My husband was a little concerned that it might be over the head of our 5 year old.
What happened is that the kindergartner went and it was well worth the small fee (only $35) I paid. First off, he was excited because it was for him and he had his own list of materials to bring (just a camera but it made him feel important!) They had their own room and a great lunch! I picked him up happy and the end of the day. The biggest takeaway that he told me when I asked him about his day and how it everything went was, “Cameron said you hold the camera steady and like this.”
I thought that was it until the next day when he told me, “Don’t wash my pants because I have a business card in them.”
I said, “A business card? From who?”
Him: “The boy who sat next to Cameron.”
Me: “So are you to call or email him?”…
Him: “I guess so.”
MY LIGHT BULB MOMENT!!!
So in that moment, I looked at this experience a little differently. I thought I was just giving him a play space for the day (and he did come back with the required craft projects, Disney-themed of course!) but I realized that I was showing him the power of networking and connecting with business associates early. I asked more questions about the day and really saw how much he enjoyed it.
His being there was also taking him to work and showing him what working can look like. Last year at the ripe old age of 4, he said that he didn’t want to go to work when he grew up “because work is boring.” I assured him that he could find some work that wasn’t boring but at some point in time, he would be working because he has to pay for his own house one day. At these sessions, he also saw that work can be fun!
I’m not sure that he’ll be a blogger or videographer but I loved the idea of him getting an understanding of work, jobs and what that means. I hope showing him the fun side early will help him understand how to find his passions. So with this experience, we’re even more eagerly looking forward to our next conferences.
By the way, the mom of that boy who sat next to Cameron shared the story of his business cards here. I loved reading the story and I’m sure you will too.
How else are you helping your children find their passions? Do you take your children to conferences? What ones are you going to this year? We’d love to meet up with you.