The COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread school closures, leaving many parents trying to balance their brand new remote work arrangements with a full house.
BTG’s working parents compiled their best ideas for figuring out how to work from home with kids during these next few weeks and months.
Accept the new normal
Due to the coronavirus, the contours of most people’s lives have fundamentally changed. Get your entire family on board with a few conversations:
- Help your kids understand what’s happening at an age-appropriate level. Answer questions as best you can and find resources online to fill in the gaps.
- Discuss with your spouse how to triage the most important tasks to keep the household running. Everything else can wait.
Build a routine
Adults and kids alike crave routine, and right now, almost everyone is winging it. To help your household run a little more smoothly, it’s worth spending some time creating a new routine and focusing on what works best for your family. Here are some things to consider:
- If possible, coordinate with your partner or other adult in the home so someone is always on-call to tackle any pressing issues.
- Take advantage of naps, movies, and other periods when your kids are engrossed in an activity by using that time to knock out important calls or tasks that require your undivided attention.
- Time your lunch breaks so you get to spend some quality time together.
- If possible, build in some outdoor time to burn off that extra energy–whether backyard time or a supervised walk around the block.
Use the Internet to your advantage
The Internet can be your best friend when trying to figure out how to work from home with kids. Here are some of our favorite resources:
- Working parents from Google and elsewhere have compiled educational and entertainment resources. Check them out here and here.
- Kids can explore museums around the world via a virtual tour or stream a live performance of the New York City Metropolitan Opera.
- Studios and streaming services are releasing new movies, so keep an eye out.
Collaborate with older children
Middle and high schoolers typically require less supervision and more management than younger children. Here are some ideas on how to keep your older kids busy and occupied:
- Make sure they have a designated workspace in which to complete their schoolwork and help them build an appropriate schedule.
- Let them take the lead in figuring out ways to occupy their time–whether it’s creating a workout routine, learning a new skill, tackling a big baking or craft project, etc.
- When possible, allow them to spend some time with friends. Figure out what rules need to be followed during these hangouts, such as staying outdoors and maintaining a minimum distance at all times.
Roll with the punches
Yes, your kids will interrupt one of your calls. Yes, something will go horribly wrong at exactly the wrong time. Take a deep breath, because it will ultimately be fine. Your friends, coworkers, and a good percentage of the country are all going through the exact same thing.
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