Updated: Sep 15
COVID, calendars, kids…...Oh My! I bet 90% of you out there have had the same thoughts since COVID started months ago. I was fresh into the small business world with 3 kids (11 years, 3 years, and 6 months old) when this pandemic reared its ugly head. Imagine the CHAOS that ensued with homeschooling + keeping my toddler occupied + constantly feeding my baby + launching my V.A.business + gaining clients. It was nothing short of a recipe for disaster!
A terrifying and troubling fact crossed my mind. I barely had any toys around the house because we were always out and about. What in the world were my kids going to do? They were sooooo bored, especially my toddler.
There was one thing that got me through and turned my whole outlook on the situation around. I was able to get work done, launch my business, take on clients, help with homeschooling and keep my toddler learning through play. Just one simple thing we all take for granted.
Working At Home Routine!
Kids NEED a routine! They need to know what is expected of them and the consequences of not meeting those expectations. Maintaining a daily routine helps everyone keep occupied and manage some of the stress and anxiety caused by this ugly beast (AKA COVID 19).
Start with planning meals and snacks with your kids the night before and then begin each day with a family meeting. Explain to them what your schedule is and what is expected of them during your “busy” times. Take them for a morning walk or discuss these expectations over breakfast, but let them be part of the conversation!
Let them help think of activities that will keep them occupied while you’re on your 9:00 AM Zoom call -- kids LOVE feeling like they are independent. It gives them the feeling of security and they are supported because it creates a safe space to feel heard.
Get kids to help with chores
How often do you appreciate being told what to do in a condescending tone? I’m going to guess……. NEVER! Rather than imposing tasks on them, guide them into having a sense of ownership. They will embrace their role more if they are included in the planning and execution of their own tasks. Try, “Would you like to do X, Y, or Z?” instead of “Do this, this and that”.
Give praise to them for their hard work. Recognise and reward their efforts! It doesn’t matter who you are, we all love praise. It can be so demotivating when you try your best at something and it goes completely unnoticed.
Give praise. Recognise and reward their efforts! We all love praise and we all know how demotivating it is when you try your best at something and it goes unnoticed. Focus on the Family Australia has an outstanding article here where you can find age appropriate chores to suit your family.
Stop trying to avoid technology – they can learn so much!
Dance videos on YouTube!!
This has been such a lifesaver for me. It keeps the kids entertained and they are exercising as well. Win-Win right there.
Don’t shy away from technology, they see you in front of it every day. Practice what you teach. Embrace the fact that it is available as a valuable teaching tool. You might have to weed out the bad ones, but there are so many fantastic learning apps available, for all ages. Check out the great ideas from eLearning Industry available here.
Bottom line…..kids will be kids and interruptions are inevitable. Things are going to get messy at times and that’s OK! Take pride in the fact that you have taken this AMAZING opportunity to work from home and spend time with your family, an opportunity that so many people aspire.
Make things easier on yourself by setting clear expectations, for yourself and your family. And always remember, it is possible to maintain productivity and professionalism at home...as a family unit!