How to Get Work Done When Your Kids Are at Home

Everyone has a plan to work from home until the moment when your child wakes up with a runny nose and a slight fever. At this point, many parents will tell you to just pass the day. But sometimes, with the right thinking and the right tactics, everything can be obtained.

I work from home. And several times a month I also watch a child who is sick or at home because his teacher is undergoing training (if you have a child with you at home, let this article be your guide ). I still need to work, and I would be glad if my children did not watch three films ” Air Friends” in a row. While I’m open to a lot of TV on snowy days and sick days, I’ve also come up with a number of strategies that can help you when you’re trying to work and look after your children.

Manage everyone’s expectations

Make sure you are honest about what you need to do and what you hope to do. Then, at the beginning of the day, make a list of your wants and needs. I’m doing it. It helps to manage my own expectations and makes me feel better when I only checked two items on the list for dinner.

I also ask the children what they need to do and what they want to do so that they feel they have a say in what happens. Then we talk about what I can’t miss, whether it’s an interview or a conference call. If they find out that I need to speak on the phone later, then it will be easier to close the door and hope for silence when the time is right. Pro tip: Announce that you might unexpectedly join a conference call.

Find an art project

I always ask my kids to create a picture or build something from LEGO for me or my wife. I also help with customization to avoid fights over space or resources. Why is there always only one blue marker in the house?

When I know I have a conference call, I turn on the timer on the clock above the stove. This gives my kids something to test when it feels like my call is going on forever. The key is to give them time, once that call and the art project is complete, to tell you the story of what they did.

Prepare a “rest bag”

I never have a shortage of snacks or something to do when I know that for the next six hours I will be at the airport or at the zoo. Treat your home the same way and prepare an unexpected array of snacks, books, or small toys. I choose the invisible ink textbooks that I loved as a kid and the mini jars of ginger ale that are made for kids’ hands. A little spontaneity goes a long way in fighting home fever.

Let them cook dinner

Identify some ingredients and boundaries ( are knives allowed? ); otherwise, let them decide together what you eat. They will love freedom, and it always takes longer than they expect. Tell them you will set the table and wash the dishes.

Hold, show and tell

Have your child sit while you complete one job assignment. Most likely, they know the name of what you do for a living, but have no idea what it actually entails. I’ll let them type a word to complete the sentence for me. That is why you are reading the word bork.

It may take you longer to complete the task, but it might be interesting for both of you to share what you are actually doing. After all, you are in this together.


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