10 Ideas to Manage Working From Home With Your Kids Around
More people than ever are working from home with their kids around—and if you’re new to this balancing act, I’d like to share some strategies that have worked for me over the years.
Over the past 13
- Create a schedule with set times for activities, chores, lunch, school, reading, and other things. The kids may balk at having a schedule at first, but it will give you a lot of peace once they settle in.
• Print the schedule and hang it in a common area so everyone can see it. Being able to see it will serve as a reminder, and also eliminates arguments and confusion.
- For preschool and elementary-aged children create bins with different activities. They only get to do one activity at a time for a 30- to 60-minute time frame. The time will depend mostly on your child’s attention span and how well they like the activity.
• Ideas for bins: Magnet sets, Legos, Play-Doh, sensory bins, Wedgits, Discover blocks, games, coloring books and paper, paint projects, art supplies, and books.
- Involve older children. If you have a middle- or high-school-aged child have them do an activity or craft with a younger child or sit down and read them a story.
- If they’re doing school online set them up with a desk near you so they can work on their schoolwork while you’re doing your work.
- Set aside a special snack—and specific snack time. This works well for elementary and middle-schoolers. They can sit and have a snack together and that gives you a few minutes to send out an email or two.
- Outside time is a must. Give them 30-60 minutes of HAVE-TO-BE outside time to burn off energy. Even older kids can go for a walk, ride a bike, and enjoy nature.
- Initiate a daily “quiet time”. For one hour after
luncheveryone has to spend time in their room quietly. Not only will this give you quiet time to work, but it gives everyone a much neededbreak from one another. Even the youngest ones can have an hour of quiet time with a sibling or take a nap.
- Listen to a book on Audible. Stories on Audible just released tons of books free for all ages. Your kids are sure to find a story they’ll enjoy. Bonus … it’s FREE!
- Check out zoos, aquariums, and national parks online. Many of them are streaming free shows right now. Bonus points because it’s also educational!
- Get them moving! Research fitness videos for kids or try an app like FitOn; it has hundreds of free workouts. For days when the kids can’t go outside but need to burn off energy have them try some of the workouts on the app.
Extra tip: Set boundaries around your time. If you need to take a call, close your door and tell the kids not to interrupt. If you want to be sure they don’t interrupt … let them know whoever does has to do extra chores.
That should keep them from intruding during important calls—and if they do anyway, guess who doesn’t have to wash the dishes or do laundry tonight? You!
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Jessica Holbrook Hernandez