I just read that they’re closing all schools in our area. Now everyone has to work from home WITH the kids at home, too!
So, I thought I’d jot down a few quick tips that might help.
#1 Keep the routine.
This is not a vacation, even though it feels that way to the kids. Create a space where each child can do schoolwork privately. Have your child to pick one project from his/her favorite subject and either read a book about the topic, do a diorama, write a report, or color a picture. Keep their brains active and focused on school-work.
Keep your family’s technology rules the same as they would be during the school week. Keeping this rule reduces any arguing that will happen if you don’t set clear boundaries for this strange moment in time.
#3 The Garage
The kids can help with this one. Create play zones in your garage. Using the garage allows you to get some important noise-free work done while the kids play.
Use painters tape to create 4 zones in the garage.
Zone #1 could be for calm work like coloring, playdough painting etc.
Zone #2 can be a rough and tumble zone. Place rubber mats on the floor so kids can roll around.
Zone #3 could be a bike or scooter course. Using a different colored tape create a course to follow as you ride around and around the course.
Zone #4 could be for a physical activity like basketball. Or you can make that physical obsticle course we all saw on FB so the kids can do it again and again.
Take things one moment at a time. Huffington Post quoted Perri Shaw Borish, a Philadelphia-based licensed clinical social worker who specializes in treating anxiety. She suggests that you plan for the next day. This can help the kids too. Giving some structure to each day keeps things as normal as possible and stops you from focusing on fear.
#5 Tag you’re it
Since both you and partner will be home, create work shifts. Put scheduled meetings/calls/quiet work periods up on a board so no double booking occurs, and you can both get your work done.
#6 Through the looking glass
Look at the rooms in your home from a different perspective. See where you might create a private space to work. You’ll be tempted to sit at the kitchen table, so you’re available to the kids, but not much work will get done that way. Grab a tray, put your laptop and work stuff on it, and you’ve got yourself a portable office.
#7 Secret weapon
Use a workday secret weapon—the mute button on the phone. No one needs to hear the kids fighting or “I need water n-o-w please,” in the background.
#8 Signal, Signs, and Headphones
Have the kids make STOP signs for everyone’s work space. This helps them understand that Mom or Dad or a sibling is not to be interrupted when the sign is up.
Let your kids use headphones while they work to block out sibling noise or any other noise in the house. Headphones show little ones that quiet is the expectation.
#9 Be realistic
This is not the time to do extra household projects.
Wear your infants as you work so they feel safe and your arms are free.
An extra video can save the day too. I won’t tell.
Go outside in your own backyard.
#10 Power struggles and Arguing
Are power struggles stopping you from working?
If you would rather Transform Behavior into Learning Moments, 10 No-Yelling Tools that Teach and Correct while YOU remain calm is what you’re looking for.
Are you and hubby are disagreeing about your parenting styles?
Same-Page Parenting: even when using different styles, uses a quick 3-step framework because being on the same team doesn’t mean you are always on the same page, and it’s our gift to you.
Disclaimer: Since the Corona virus is evolving, and we’re all operating by the seat of our pants, steps 1-9 are just some quick tips to help you in this moment. No guarantee this will work with your kids. It’s worth a shot though. Stay safe.