Working from home is now the new norm, and for parents across the UK, ‘bring your kids to work day’ is every day! Routine is important for everyone, especially children. With them being used to being entertained for the day – parents are faced with the challenge of juggling tantrums, emotions, and teaching. All within the midst of adjusting their own work lives. Which is why we have put together 5 ways you can work with your kids from home.
Every household is different, but we advise you put a routine in place that suits your family. You don’t have to be a drill sergeant – creating some sort of timetable that your family can stick to will help everyone’s productivity. Involving all your family to help you create this timetable would be a great activity to kick off with. This not only makes the kids feel included but it also shows you how you can balance your time and make it more effective. Additionally, make sure you incorporate; things to look forward to, exercise and family activities.
- Relay & Replay
Next steps – now you have set out your family plans, it’s time to relay it to the team. A great technique after you have relayed the plan is replay. It is set out as follows:
For example, it is time for your kids to do their English work. This means they need their books, pen/pencils and paper. Settle them into a quiet place and read out the task at hand. Make sure there is ways you can track their progress as well as setting benchmarks.
Finally, ask each person to relay what you’ve just said – ask some specific questions to make sure they really understand the task at hand.
For those parents who are both WFH, you can 50/50 split on care of the kids – it is usually the popular option. One parent does the morning, the other does the afternoon.
Highlighting your times of day where you are most visible for work requirements is a great way to match your own work schedule. If you have young children, a great tip is to match up their nap time with video conferences and meetings.
Here are some ideas to create boundaries:
- Use a timer to help encourage focus or set boundaries of play.
- Get creative with your workspace – take calls in your car if you have to!
- Reward Good behaviour
Establishing boundaries is one thing – but you also need to make sure you’re acknowledging and rewarding good behaviour. A good example of this if you have young kids that require a lot of attention, before you start a meeting let them know what’s happening and that you can’t be interrupted. Get them to start a quiet puzzle or a colouring project. Here are some activities you might want to try:
- CBEEBIES for arts, crafts and online games.
- Unleash the old-school boardgames. Monopoly, Game of Life, Scrabble, BattleShips, Who’s in the bag, and Dobble.
The key, if you can, is to ‘stress less’. If we cannot change our circumstances, we must change our way of thinking and adapting. During ‘normal’ times you may monitor screen time – but working from home during an emergency is different. Whilst you don’t want them attached to a screen for weeks on end.. there is nothing wrong with letting them have a little more screen time than usual.
Additionally, whilst it is an uncomfortable and difficult time, keep in mind that working from home right now – even as hard as it is with kids – can be the difference that keeps millions of people safe. Remember, it’s worth the challenge, and we are all in this together.