Most of us are working from home with kids during Coronavirus, and certainly most of us have experienced difficulty when it comes to finding the balance and feeling productive. It’s important to communicate with your employer, so speak with them about flexibility regarding work hours. It’s also important that you don’t overstretch yourself and to take care of your overall well-being. Help yourself spread the load with family-friendly policies. Have an office space you can focus in while supervising your kids. When your youngsters need you, don’t feel overwhelmed, instead leave the task at hand and give yourself some time off and come back later to complete what you were doing. Give yourself the opportunity to take care of your family and don’t ever feel bad.
Communication is key when it comes to expectations
It’s important for you to communicate with your employer if you would for someone, that you have children at home. This is important as they’ll be made aware that your work and work calls won’t always be guaranteed 100% interruption-free. This applies to your kids as well, you need to explain to them that even though you’re working from home- you’re really trying to do your work even if it may feel like a vacation day or regular weekend by the whole family being at home.
Set up virtual playdates or babysitters
Reach out to your family members, babysitters, teachers, and friends. All these people have amazing resources and it can be arranged to have a virtual playdate, virtual class, or to be babysat virtually. Games, singing, talking, reading, dancing, and so on can all be enjoyed online.
Plan age appropriate activities that don’t require your non-stop supervision
Plan activities depending on the age of your kids and on your schedule. Babies give you a breather during their nap times, and you can rely on music, bouncy chairs and swings to keep them entertained. For toddlers and grade-schoolers, create activity boxes with puzzles and games that don’t require your supervision. When working from home with kids during Coronavirus, you can even keep them busy with their favorite shows and trustworthy apps. Older kids will be busy with their online schooling most of the time so it’s easier.
Prioritize your schedule accordingly
During your work day when you’re at your busiest or most productive, focus on keeping your youngsters busy with reliable and engaging activities that they can do on their own during the time that you’re unavailable.
Split the work between you and your better half
If you have a spouse, consider taking shifts with them so that when the one works, the other watches the kids. This is the best guarantee to get in some productive hours of work without any distractions.
Reward your children’s good behavior
Set up a reward system for your children when they follow instructions. By working at home, it’s best to maintain harmony as much as possible to avoid wasting work time.
Take breaks throughout the day
Instead of working for hours on end, consider changing this style of working temporarily. Break up your day so that you can both get the work done and give your children the attention that they need. Your work will most likely need to be done in chunks as kids’ attention spans are short. Once they’ve gone to bed, you’ll most likely need to continue working… or wake up early in the morning before they do to get in some uninterrupted hours of work.
Don’t stress over screen time
If conditions were normal, then yes, limit your children’s screen time. But as the situation currently stands, it’s worth allowing your child to have daily screen time in order to buy yourself more work time. Explain to your kids that this is only a temporary adjustment for the time being.
Be creative with your office space
Be creative when it comes to your office space, consider finding a space that has a door that can be closed to avoid disturbances. Also, by having physical boundaries your mind will have a reinforced message that you need to get to work. Any part of your house can act as an office, as long as you have internet access and a space where you can ensure that you can have uninterrupted calls and meetings.
Set up snack and drink stations for the kids
Each evening, prepare a bunch of snack kits in little cups and snack bags. Put the snacks on a low shelf which the children can reach, and teach your kids how to go get themselves a snack or drink that’s already been prepared in advance.
Here are some online resources for your kids that are both educational and fun :
• Scholastic will keep your kids busy with day-by-day projects that involve thinking, reading, and growing.
• BrainPop turns any room in your home into a classroom. Your curious youngsters can take units in math, social studies, engineering, science, tech, and more!
• These online games incorporate K12 curriculum
• The Music Explorer program at Carnegie Hall gives your children the opportunity to learn new cultural traditions and musical genres. The courses are taught in an interactive concert experience.
• Cook with your kids with these kid-friendly versions of traditional recipes
• Do your kids love animals? The San Diego Zoo lets children keep up with their favorite creatures by offering 10 different webcams.
• Audible has stories available for kids in six different languages. It gets even better, they’re offering the audio books for free while schools are closed!
• National Geographic Kid have videos that feature pets, animals, science, and more!
• Your kids will get to explore the research and work of natural history museums.
• Your kids will learn about science, new technology, outer space, and more!
Challenges like working from home with kids during Coronavirus teach us to be more adaptable, resilient, and creative as we learn to deal with the circumstances that are less-than-ideal. Your children may also learn lessons through free play, independence, and they’ll get to see a side of you that they haven’t seen before. Working with your family members, partners, and kids will only improve your communication and strengthen your bonds with one another.