Working remotely when the kids are home can be challenging, depending on the age and temperament of the kids.
Here are some tips (from my experience) how to succeed to be efficient at work and raise a happy kid at home 😊.
Start by explaining to your kid that you have to work from home and the importance of being able to perform your work well.
Depending on the age of your kid this explanation can be shorter or longer. A short explanation can be something like: if I cannot work properly, I can lose my job, so we might end-up have financial problems… that might impact us…
As described in my previous posts, it is essential to establish a daily routine for your child. This will establish a clear distinction between the time you set aside for your work (“office time”) versus the time when you are with your kid. The whole family must participate in the definition of the routine. As you are experiencing the new routine, you can adjust it to better fit your needs.
If both parents are at home you can alternate the time spent with your kid(s).
Have a dedicated workspace for each family member: it can be a room or just a table in another corner of the same room.
Set-up the play area in a different room. It can be just a big carpet and some pillows on the living-room floor with a couple of baskets of books, games and toys. Depending on the age of the child you must ensure that the playroom is safe, as you will not be able to watch your kid all the time.
Spend some time with your child in the evening to select the books and toys for the next day, to ensure that he/she is interested. Depending on age, your kid can also enjoy drawing or writing activities.
If your kid is older enough to do some homework autonomously, do not hesitate to include it in your daily routine. You can install a desk in the same room with you and invite your kid to “work like an adult” by doing the homework. Ask your child to avoid interrupting you during the “office time”. You can answer any questions later.
If you have an older kid, give him/her the responsibility to take care of the younger kid. Make him/her feel proud of this task.
Establish some clear rules, like:
- you cannot interrupt me if I am on the phone unless it is urgent,
- don’t make noise during the “office time”,
- do not leave the house without telling me,
- do not open the main door to anyone, excepting the family,
- do not use the grill or the oven or … (depending on the age),
- reward your kid for consistently respecting the rules,
- reward your kid for making efforts with the homework.
Ensure that your child will not end up being bored and search for a solution like watching movies or playing on a laptop/tablet in secret.
You can plan for listening music, watching educational videos, documentaries or taking a “virtually trip” around the world. Here is a list of 20 Amazing Virtual Tours from Around the World.
Do you have any other ideas to share?