Tips for Parenting While Working From Home
1. Create a Schedule Collaborate with your child to make a daily schedule. Provide them with a routine as well as clear predictable expectations. Try sandwiching academic tasks with fun activities. For most ages, 30 minute blocks of time are best for academic tasks. Parents will also want to factor their needs for the work day into the schedule. Conference calls, virtual meetings and other important events would ideally take place while children are set up ahead of time with a passive, engaging activity to keep them occupied and requiring minimal parental involvement. Post a family schedule with events for the day where all family members can easily see it.
2. Physical Activity, Sleep & Healthy Eating It’s helpful to combine quiet time with movement. This could include having a dance party, an obstacle course set up in the basement, indoor hopscotch, building forts and playing outside. Keeping bodies healthy also includes eating nutritious snacks and meals. Planting seeds and starting an indoor garden is a great activity that promotes healthy eating. It’s also important to make sure that your child gets enough sleep by staying on schedule with a regular bedtime and time to get up. All of these are important for maintaining mental health and help to stabilize mood.
3. Schedule Time Together Even though you’ve at home together 24/7, set aside quality time daily to interact with your child, just hanging out, playing games or cards, working on a family puzzle, making a meal or baking together. Encouraging them express their thoughts, questions and feelings can help alleviate their emotional distress and manage stress or anxiety.
4. Limit Exposure to Information Be mindful of your child’s exposure to media and adult conversations about the virus. Children are listening even when we aren’t speaking directly to them so remember that they overhear conversations, news reports and radio announcements. Provide them with clear, age-appropriate information and monitor what they are exposed to on media. The message that grown-ups are working very hard to keep us safe can be comforting and reassuring.
5. Highlight the Positives Help your child to see the positives that come from all of this. Family’s get to spend more time together, the hole in the ozone layer has had a chance to repair itself and being faced with tough situations that force us to change also creates self-growth. Feeling the love as communities come together to support each other and knowing you’re an important part of that just feels good!