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Tips for Working From Home with Children

How to manage children when working from home

Working from home is not a new concept and many have been trying to find the appropriate work/life balance while working from home for many years.  Due to recent events, more people are finding themselves working from home than ever before – and, more than likely, they also have their children home from school and/or daycare.  If you have found yourself working from home with your children home all day, you know it is no simple task to be productive with children around.  And, it is not optimal to neglect children for hours at a time while you work so, how can you find the right balance?  It is possible and there are many resources, strategies, and solutions that work well and can be molded to fit your unique work-from-home situation. 


Our top 5 tips to help make your work from home situation a success


  • Set a Schedule 

      • Being home all day with children and trying to work and keep everyone entertained can feel like a stressful free-for-all without some amount of structure.  The type and stringency of the schedule will vary heavily depending on your unique family’s needs and preferences but even a loose structure for the day can keep everyone on-task, entertained, and productive while reducing boredom, complaints, arguments, and excessive screen time for children.  Set a schedule for meals and snack times, schoolwork or educational activities, physical activities and exercise, quiet time alone, and more. This ensures a balanced day and lets children feel like they know what to expect and what is expected of them.  It also frees up parents from having to constantly monitor and supervise all activities throughout the day because it empowers children to be in control of their own schedules during the day.  Even very young children can be included in planning and executing their own daily schedules! Creating a visual schedule and a clock is a good way to keep everyone on task and also teach children how to tell time! 
  • Prepare Activities Ahead of Time

      • Regardless of the age of your child, you can prepare activities ahead of time that they are able to independently complete and enjoy so that you can have time to work during the day.  Whether you prep activities the day before or prep enough activities to pull them out throughout the week, doing a little advance work can save you a lot of time/frustration and have the perfect option to prevent kids from saying the dreaded, “I’m bored!”  For younger children and elementary-age children, busy bags/boxes/bins are a great option.  There is a multitude of ideas for this and you can even coordinate them with other educational lessons they may be learning at home.  Find a wealth of resources and inspiration on Pinterest to keep your young children occupied and happy while you work.  For older children, this could include school lessons, chores, or planned indoor/outdoor activities and exercise to keep them entertained on things other than devices for periods of time throughout the day.  Strategically Use Your Time
  • Use All Tools Available to You

      • When you find yourself working from home temporarily or permanently with children home all day at the same time, it is important to give yourself the grace and permission you need to use every tool you have available at your disposal.  This means that maybe some days your children get a little more screen time on their devices or watch a movie or favorite show.  There are different ways to utilize these tools – some days it might mean turning on your child’s favorite movie and letting them indulge a little or maybe if you want to make it a little more productive you could put on an educational program of some sort.  The same goes for devices – sometimes it is ok to let your kids play a silly game and if you feel like they need some more intentional time on devices, encourage them to play on educational apps.  There are many great apps that combine fun and education so that teaching your kids math or reading doesn’t feel like a chore at all, they will learn a lot without even realizing it!
  • Create Intentional Work Space

      • It is important to create designated “work” spaces for both you and your children if they are doing remote learning. Try to create quiet private spaces that are free from clutter and distraction. If your child will be doing online education this fall consider getting a headset device that cancels out other noises so they can stay engaged with their teacher online.
  • Get the Help You Need

      • Nobody can do it all, all by themselves.  And, even if they can, they probably shouldn’t. During times when you must work from home while your children are home, it is ok to ask for and/or accept help.  Whether that is asking your older children to ‘babysit’, having a spouse take over childcare duties for periods of time while you are working, having a grandparent watch your children, or hiring a babysitter or nanny, everyone needs a little help to be their most productive and effective while working from home with children.  If you are wondering how to hire a nanny, sitter, tutor or private educator to help care for your children so that you can work from home, The Nanny Joynt has many qualified and experienced nannies on staff that can work with your unique schedule and childcare needs to ensure you are able to complete your work while keeping your children entertained, cared for, and happy!

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