WORKING FROM HOME WITH KIDS
I am so happy you have found the 3D Parent Podcast. My name is Beaven Walters, and I am your host. Before I created the 3D Parent, I spent over 10 years teaching in various educational settings. I have always had a passion for working with children. After my first child was born, and not too long after my second, I discovered I was truly passionate about parenting in a way that worked for my children. So, I became a certified parent coach to help not only myself, but other parents who were struggling through a tough season in parenting just like me.
This podcast was created with the parent in mind. I am going to be covering the 3D Parent method and systems, so you can gain tangible tools to help you bring dignity, direction and deep connection to your family dynamic. My goal is to help you become the most confident parent you can be, and feel empowered in your parenting choices.
THINGS YOU WILL LEARN IN EP. 26: WORKING FROM HOME WITH KIDS
[00:38] What’s happening all around us right now is very pressing. We, as parents, are dealing with school closures and the work-from-home setup that is being implemented because of the ongoing pandemic. We should consider ourselves really fortunate and lucky to be provided this opportunity in the midst of child care centers being shut down, businesses being foreclosed, and some people are out of work. At the same time, we also recognize that it is a really tough endeavor and something that is relatively new for all of us. What makes the setup unique is that right now, there’s never a break in the day with the kids being at home, and we parents are trying to get work done while also schooling our kids. So in today’s episode I’m sharing strategies you can use in your own homes to ace working from home with your kids.
[02:03] My first suggestion is an obvious one. If your spouse or partner is also at home, you can partner together and divide the schedule or routine for the day between yourselves. You can decide who will take charge of the kids during a certain portion of the day. For instance, my husband and I had the opportunity to chat and agree upon a specific portion of the day when one of us will be in charge of the activities while the other will focus on doing work. That way, we’re both not having to juggle work and kids at the same time. I definitely suggest communicating with your partner if at all possible, and find times when you can cover the other person while they deal with work matters.
[03:31] My next suggestion is to work off hours. You may be able to take advantage of the fact that your kids are sleeping a little later than normal. This means you have some early morning hours to dig in and focus on getting things accomplished, work wise. Similarly, you can also use late hours in the evening to get some more work done once the kids are in bed.
[04:56] For households where one of you needs to go to work because you’re a necessary worker, maybe in the medical field or some other form of work wherein you are required to report to your workplaces, the other spouse who will be left at home will need to take care of the kids while also trying to work. You can consider utilizing Facetime or Zoom with friends or relatives who can help you attend to your child as you get some work done. This also goes for single parents who don’t have a parent partner that they can divide up the day with.
[08:09] Another idea I’ve been mentioning a lot - especially with the way a lot of us are using conference calls, video calling and team meetings on Zoom - is for everybody to take advantage of the mute button. Now, more than ever, that button is a friend and takes a lot of pressure off of you, especially if there’s all those noises and kids sounds in the background. The only time you should be unmuted is when you actually have to say something.
[09:35] The next idea that I will share is actually from Tara, my podcast producer. She has young kids at home, and has found it especially helpful to rotate their toys. I have often suggested to parents that they need to cut down on the amount of clutter and number of toys that are available to their children. Our little ones are often overwhelmed by an abundance of choice. Having less options makes it easier for them to know what to play with and encourage them to actually play with their toys. Tara has a similar concept that works by sorting the toys in the playroom into different groups and setting them aside in separate tote bags. Every so often, exchange the toy bags so your kids will have different types of toys to play with. This way, the toys become new and novel, causing your children to be more engaged during playtime.
[13:57] I also suggest that you save the screen time of your kids when you really need it as opposed to leaving them there all the time. These are not normal times and we’re not working under normal circumstances. So a lot of us are allowing our children to have more screen time than we typically would. Just like with leaving the same toys out, if you’re always leaving your kids in front of their monitors, the activity will lose its novelty and won’t grab their interest anymore.
[15:18] My favorite material for my kids to play with are our cardboard boxes. With many of us placing lots of online orders right now, we have this resource in abundance. It is a great idea to save them rather than get thrown away or be up for recycling. You can use them to allow your kids to get creative as there are many different things you can do with the boxes that can really entertain your children for a long while.
[16:08] The last suggestion I am going to share is to have a conversation with your kids and set a clear boundary with them about when you are working. Then, make sure your “work time” is communicated through something physical that can be easily seen, like a sign on the door. No matter what their age or year level in school, it will be helpful to have some form of communication so that your children won’t just go busting in through your door when they need something while you’re trying to get some solid work done.
QUOTES FROM WORKING FROM HOME WITH KIDS
"Parents, what we are being asked to do is not humanly possible. There is a reason we are either a working parent, a stay at home parent, or a part-time working parent, working, parenting and teaching are three different jobs that cannot be done at the same time. It's not hard because you're doing it wrong. It's hard because it's too much."
"If you are stressed, lower your expectations where you can and virtually reach out for social connection. We are in this together so stay well, and that means mentally well too."
"Sometimes you do have to choose, choose, connection, choose what's going to help you stay deeply connected to your family."
EPISODES TO FURTHER THE DISCUSSION:
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