Working from Home with Kids
Working from home can be hard, hard to find the motivation, to not be distracted, lonely, etc. But it is particularly testing when you are working from home with children!!! After the year that was 2020, many of us can attest to the unique difficulties that working from home with kids can bring.
Obviously very young children need hands on supervision at all times but if you children are a bit older, hopefully these tips will help.
Set the Rules
Let the kids know exactly what you expect from them. You might not want them stepping foot in the room (unless it’s an emergency) but then again you might be OK with them coming in if you’re on a phone call but absolutely not on a video call. Everyone is different so let them know what’s OK and what’s not.
Check Your Schedule
Print a copy of your schedule and leave it out for the children. Let them know the times they can pop in to say hi to you, when they really can’t disturb you and when you’ll be free to spend some time with them. If your schedule allows, make sure you’re not shut away from them for hours on end. The day will be very long and boring for them. Just a 5 minutes with you every so often will help break up their day.
We all know that when the kids are at home all they want are snacks – 10,000 of them a day!! Get the snacks they’re allowed for the day. Explain to the children that these are all the snacks they can have that day. They can help themselves when they’re hungry but when they’re gone they’re gone!
Before your work day starts, make each child a packed lunch or lunch plate. Let the children know whereabouts in the kitchen or fridge you’ve left them and at what time they can eat. If you end up stuck on a call over lunch, then at least the children will be fed.
Electronics Can Be Your Friend
Life is all about balance. If there’s one day where necessity means the kids are on electronic more than you’d like, then try to balance it with another day where they have an electronic free day.
If you don’t want the kids to be glued to electronics all day, limit them to be used during periods when you really can’t be disturbed.
Let Your Colleagues Know
Let your colleagues know that the children are at home. There might be a bit of background noise, you might be called away at short notice and you might even have some additions in the background of your video calls!! Even those that don’t have children, understand it’s difficult sharing your work space with kids and are sympathetic to the challenges.
Tell Them You Will Make It Up To Them (Otherwise Known As Bribery)!!
If the children think there is something in it for them, they’re more likely to be on best behaviour.
They’ve been cooped up indoors all day. So why not say you’ll reward good behaviour with a trip to the park or a bike ride once you’ve finished for the day.
They’ve missed spending time with you. So why not say you’ll reward good behaviour by playing a game with them or just spending time with them without distractions.
Treats are always a good bargaining chip too!!