This is a guest post by Cherie at Couchbasedbiz
Working from home with children who are participating in distance learning can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. A bit of proactive organization, the right tools, and quality time together to unwind can go a long way.
Get ahead of the chaos by ensuring that your time and home are as organized as possible. Shared calendars, organizer apps, activity planners, and lists will go a long way to help reduce stress or misunderstandings. The more you encourage your children to participate in time management, the better. Check in with them daily to discuss what you’ll all be doing. Then make a plan for how you’ll tackle the day.
Getting your home properly organized for remote work and learning will help, too. First, clean and declutter the house so that you, your partner, and your children each have a suitable workspace. A minimalist approach can create a sense of calmness and reduce the feeling of being piled on top of one another. Consider donating or selling any items that you haven’t worn or used in over a year.
Give your child the right tools
Even for the most mature and self-directed kids, there will be times that they want your attention while you’re working. To avoid hurt feelings or frustration, address this before it happens. Try to set a predictable work schedule. With young kids, a timer is a useful tool to let them know when they can expect to have your attention again. Consider creating a go-to list of independent play activities – such as books, art projects, or games.
Although minimizing overall screentime is a good policy, it can be beneficial when used in moderation. Gaming can be a great way to keep your kids occupied and even boost their cognitive development. Mentally stimulating and educational video games can supplement your child’s education while also providing a break from the daily grind. If you’ll be working at the same time, consider upgrading your internet to make sure no one has a slow connection.
Get outside together
Celebrate when you’re done working for the day by taking a mini-adventure as a family. This clear boundary between work and family time can be a helpful way to de-stress and be present with each other. After so much time indoors, everyone will benefit from getting some fresh air and enjoying more space. Consider taking a walk, packing a picnic dinner, going to get ice cream, or playing a game outside. Even if the weather isn’t cooperating, a brief outing will help shake off cabin fever and give you time to bond with your kids without the tasks of life competing for your attention.
Try to remember that this ‘new normal’ of working and learning at home is hugely challenging for everyone. There will be days that it’s stressful, messy, and feels unmanageable, just as there are days that everything runs smoothly. This isn’t the time to try to be a perfect parent — or the perfect anything. Be forgiving of yourself for any perceived shortcomings and forgiving of your children for any ungraceful moments as they adjust to the challenges of distance learning.
Juggling work and childcare is a balancing act, but it’s a survivable one. By getting organized, creating structure, using the right tools, and taking fun breaks together, you can find a path that works for everyone. Then you’ll not only survive but hopefully come together as a family, supporting one another through a challenging time.
Cherie writes at Couchbasedbiz.com, giving you useful tips and guides to set up your home business