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A guide for working (from home) parents

We haven’t seen such a time before. Everyone is at home and everything is shut. Most professionals are working from home, but it isn’t just office work they have to handle. At this time you need to handle work, household chores, and kids. For working from home, parents with small children, the situation is somewhat more difficult. Keeping children indoors and engaged day after day is indeed a tough task.

You need to spend time with your kids and also manage your office work, so the best is to follow a routine. There are so many online activities that kids can keep busy with. Here are three steps to modify your routine in these times.

1- Maintain routines

The most important step is to have routines. Even if you’re not going out, it is essential that kids follow a routine. This includes breakfast, play time, story time or activities, lunch, rest, evening yoga, house chores, dinner, TV etc.

Having a set routine will give kids a sense of responsibility and they’ll feel the need to do something instead of just lazing around or watching TV.

2- Create modified schedules

Creating modified schedules during this chaotic time is such a relief. Make sure the schedule is comprehensive and covers the following –

  • What is my child’s schedule?
  • What will we have for each meal?
  • What are the key meetings for the week and when do you have a little extra time?
  • When and who will do the house chores?

Depending on your child’s interest and the situation of the quarantine, you can create work blocks.

  • Partner Swap: 4 hour shifts in which one partner works and other partner spends time with the kids.
  • Video shifts: For older kids it is a little easy. You can engage them in online classes or video calls with friends while you handle an important video conference or call.
  • Short shifts: 30 minutes to 2 hours shifts that rotate among same number of adults.

It might feel difficult at first, but slowly you’ll get used to it and your kids will also have plenty of activities to keep themselves engaged.

3- Try new ways to do old things

If your kids are used to having play dates or weekly activities which are now restricted because of limited resources and not being able to go outdoors, then there are ways in which you can modify them. Here are some ideas to consider.

  • Virtual play dates

You can use various platforms to have virtual play dates with your child’s other friends. It can be kids catching up or you can also have a small party for them virtually.

  • Creative athletic activities

You can sign up for online sessions with your kids like yoga at home, art classes, painting, fun etc. Also make sure they get some kind of physical activity – running around the house, running in the garden if you have, climbing up and down the stairs etc.

  • Parent pods

Find a group of 3-4 families that you’re close to and share your resources like – activity ideas, meal plans, lesson plans etc.

  • Book club or story telling

You can read storybooks with your child to enhance their imagination. This will also reduce the screen time and give them a chance to develop the habit of reading.

Source – https://hbr.org/2020/03/a-guide-for-working-from-home-parents