Challenge Accepted-Tips for Parents and Kids to Work From Home

FROM OUR GUEST BLOGGER, CHERI MCLAUGHLIN

Challenge Accepted – Tips for Parents and Kids to Work From Home Effectively

Parenthood is a journey that’s full of fun and memorable moments… along with a healthy dose
of challenges too. The challenge of working from home, while parenting and maintaining social
distance due to a pandemic, is something most of wouldn’t have predicted a year ago. But here
we are, ready to face this new challenge head-on! If you don’t feel quite that positive, don’t
worry. These tips will help you make a plan, get organized, and make the most of this situation
so that everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Set a Realistic Schedule
Many kids are starting this year doing virtual education through their school, while other families
are choosing to homeschool instead. Whichever approach you take, the tricky part is figuring
out how to balance your child’s school day with your work schedule. We suggest starting with
non-negotiables (like a virtual meeting you can’t miss or your child’s daily Zoom time) and
working everything else around those. Fast Company recommends letting young kids help set
their schedules, but for school-age kids, sticking to their regular school day is a good strategy
because it helps them maintain a greater sense of normalcy.

When you’re building your schedule around these must-have appointments, don’t forget to
include breaks. Teachers sometimes call these “brain breaks,” and they’re just as important for
parents as they are for kids! Get up from your desk and move around so you can return to work
more focused. You’ll also want to establish boundaries that help you stay more productive
throughout the day. This could even be a physical boundary, like a sign that indicates when kids
can ask mom or dad questions. Most work-from-home families also find that having a consistent
morning routine helps you start the day off right and keeps everyone on schedule.
Proactive Solutions for Common Problems
Even with the best-laid plans, adjusting to this new normal will still take time, along with some
trial and error. There are some common work-from-home problems many of us can anticipate,
like how to run a good virtual meeting, but others may pop up out of nowhere. The important
thing to remember is that the way we work is different now, so you may need some innovative
solutions.
For example, if you’re a business owner who usually works solo, you may find that you could
use the help of a personal assistant these days. The great thing is that you don’t have to hire a
full-time onsite staff person (or have to deal with employee taxes). Instead, you may want to hire
an assistant as a freelancer who can provide virtual support with tasks like scheduling meetings,
taking care of phone calls, and keeping you caught up on email.
Another common problem with virtual education is that kids get bored staring at a screen, but
you can help by giving them interactive opportunities. For elementary-age kids, Mommy
Poppins recommends educational websites like Scholastic, virtual museum tours, and coding
programs. Older kids and teens who are into gaming can even use technologies like Virtual
Reality (VR) that allow online learning through video games. Just keep in mind that you’ll need a
reliable and faster internet connection to support these learning opportunities (as well as your
own work requirements).
Get Organized – And Get the Whole Family on Board
Of course, it would be pretty hard, if not impossible, to stay on top of your schedule and keep
kids on task if you’re trying to work in an unorganized home. Partnering with A2Z Organizing
Solutions is an easy way to get help in setting up effective workspaces. If you can, give each
child their own space, and include all the supplies they need too so they can help themselves
throughout the day.
Staying on top of your own work from home while keeping kids happy, fed, and educated
certainly is a challenge. We know you’re up to the task, though! All it takes is a little planning
and organization, combined with a whole lot of patience.