Usually, when you’re at home with your children, you are not also at work! It is not surprising that children especially if they are younger will not understand your need to concentrate. There is no magic answer that will make it simple.
But we have put together a series of tips and tricks to help you.
Explaining the Situation
The situation is clearly unusual. You have created a home working space. In your child’s eyes every time you have a video conference, you are talking to strangers!
If you have teenage children that have their own room, it’s likely they will spend a lot of time there and you will have to check that they have done their homework!
For younger children, though, you will certainly need to make time for them.
This is a time of anxiety and uncertainty, so it’s imperative to talk with your children right now. They need to understand why they can’t go out, they can’t see their friends and why mum and dad work at home. It’s difficult for everyone to adapt to this new way of living…
You will have to organise your time with your kids and talk a lot – neither your working days nor your children’s needs will be the same every day.
Fit Your Children Into Your Schedule
Your home working day should have a fixed schedule, with team-building chats and more formal business video conferences at relatively fixed intervals. Try doing the same with your kids; establish a schedule that is just for them.
Use Their Nap Time!
If possible, why not try scheduling your more important calls/meetings during your children’s nap hours?
It’s not always a bad thing to have your kids interrupt a team meeting at times; your team might even enjoy that personal touch.
On the other hand, trying to schedule your more concentration -heavy tasks during snack time is unrealistic; a hungry kid will quickly get their way!
Set Up Quiet Activities That Kids Can Do Nearby
Excepting your more important calls and concentration-heavy tasks, it is possible to get your work done while your children are nearby.
This is the perfect time to, for example, get your kids to appreciate reading. Get out those old books, the ones you know by heart – you can pique their curiosity, and teach them about whole new worlds!
Perhaps you can allow previously prohibited toys to have new places in the house. For once, you could let your children to build their Playmobil city around the sofa, or to have their Lego castle on the dining table.
Why not start a jigsaw with your kids, and let them finish it? Or ask them to create a plasticine model, drawing, colouring or even set up a course of dominoes?
Using Online Resources
One of the best options around is, of course, the school program on television. With a pair of headphones, your kids can be peacefully distracted, and you get the peace of mind from knowing that they are also learning something. A wide variety of podcasts will do the same thing.
In conclusion, just as you cannot ignore your work responsibilities, you cannot ignore that your children are nearby, and need you.
This is the perfect time to create a personal/professional life balance with them, suiting all of you. When everyone is sure what is expected of them, you may be surprised by how peaceful it can get! It is a good taste of independence too.
Finally, let’s remember to be kind to each other, should a parent have to leave a group call early. And for those who do have children at home, remember we are all in the same situation, and there are bound to be times when it is tougher!
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