Many people have made the shift to full-time remote work and school, and while this opens up a lot of opportunities for bonding and free time, it can also put a strain on parents with young children. We all love spending time with our families, but there’s only so much that any parent can take. Quarantine has made parenting hard enough, and it’s normal to need some space and quiet time while you’re trying to take care of your responsibilities. Learning how to multitask, distract, and encourage your kids to help out around the house is a great way to take some weight off of you while keeping your children engaged.
Don’t consider yourself a bad parent if you just want to focus on work! Not sure how to get started? Keep reading for some positive parenting solutions that can help you keep the peace while you’re on the job.
Make a Schedule
This is the first and most important thing is to make a schedule when working from home with children.
If your children are in school, a large block of this time is already taken. With summer approaching, though, children of all ages will be home and looking for things to do. You want to facilitate an envrionment that helps them fill that space.
Children respoind well to structure. While they might resist it, they’ll also work better and feel more comfortable when they’re given guidelines, and a schedule provides a perfect guideline for the day. Scheduling the right way is one of the best parenting strategies that you can learn!
Depending on the ages, interests, and abilities of your children, your schedule may look different.
The rest of the suggestions on this list can all go into the schedule (or you can pick and choose the ones that work right for you). You can set times for meals and snacks, chores, playtime, and more.
Make sure that you make your work hours clear and mark this time as the time when your children should do their best to leave you alone.
If you’re unsure of how to make a schedule like this, some parenting classes or parent mentoring groups might be able to offer you suggestions.
Once you’ve made a schedule, add a list of tasks. These won’t be entertaining, per se, but they will be productive and they give your children something to do when they don’t have the responsibility of school looking over them.
You know your children best, so pick tasks and chores that you know they can complete without needing help or getting overwhelmed.
While your children may not be thrilled to receive tasks during their “off time,” they will feel better and more productive when they’re done. Getting your children used to their tasks early on helps you keep parenting without yelling when things go unfinished.
Start Fun Projects
When it’s time for children to relax, why not set them up with fun projects that feel like games? They can have fun while learning about art or science.
For younger children, crafting projects offer some of the best choices. Allow your children to select their favorite art supplies for a craft project that feels inspiring to them. Maybe it’s a picture frame or paper dolls. The important part is having them involved in the process of choosing.
These things might seem too easy to take up a lot of time, but for children who are still learning, they’re great at taking up time.
Older children can do more complex projects. You could ask them to set up a science project, like making a paper maché volcano, or making sugar crystals. You can even buy small science experiment kits! Our kids really enjoyed building model airplanes. We set up their own craft table so they could make a mess of the glue and parts with no worry to our good furniture.
Make Time for Exercise
When your kids are home, they don’t have gym class or recess. That means you may want to ask them what kind of community sports camp seems fun for them to try.
If you have a large backyard, your children already have room to play, and if you can work near a window, it’s easy to keep an eye on them. If you have young children, though, or you want to provide more structure, make playtime and exercise routines.
Yoga is great for exercise on a rainy day. There are plenty of yoga routines for children online. They’re good for physical health and for mindfulness!
You can also set up obstacle courses or give children a “workout plan” full of age-appropriate activities, like jumping rope.
Exercise will let your children burn off some of their excess energy and it sets them up for a future of better health.
Use Online Educational Tools
When your kids aren’t in school, it can seem difficult to keep them engaged in their academic lives. Even young children can learn while they’re home if they have the right tools.
While many parents malign the use of computers and tablets, these tools offer great parenting help when it comes to entertaining and educating kids.
There are programs for teaching children how to read, do mathematics, learn complex science concepts, and more. Some of these skills can be learned through games while others are more like traditional lessons.
As far as parenting strategies go, there’s nothing wrong with using technology to your advantage. Working at home as a parent is hard work! Make it easier with a tablet or computer.
How to Multitask at Home: It’s Easy!
Learning how to multitask is a bit of a process, but once you find what works for your family, you’ll discover how easy it is to maintain a schedule that keeps your kids entertained while also allowing you the time that you need to work.
You’re a busy parent. Don’t be afraid to make your life easier!
Are you looking for more parenting advice that can keep you and your kids happy? Check out my blog or purchase my new book, Secrets to Parenting Without Giving a F*ck. I’ll teach you how to manage and prevent common misbehavior challenges so you and your kids can live in harmony.