Most kids are not accustomed to distance learning. But because of the COVID-19 crisis, schools had to close, and kids are at home all the time. On the other hand, parents who used to work strictly at the office suddenly have to transition to working remotely. When you have to work from home, take care of the kids 24/7, and assist them while they learn from home, it can be a recipe for disaster. How can work-from-home parents like you handle all the tasks and still stay sane?
Create a Place Meant Only for Learning and Working
You and your kids may already have the equipment to use for school and work. But if you want to maintain an organised home as much as possible, make sure there is a place for everything. You must have your own space where you can work with as much little distraction as possible and your kids their own corner where they can focus on school.
If you have limited space, what you can do is find a corner or, better yet, a room you can convert into a mini office/study room. Add necessary furniture, office storage, and everything you and the kids might need. You want everything they might need when studying in a single place.
Remove all distractions and talk to your kids about your office hours and their learning hours. When someone is using the room, others should respect that family member’s time. If you have little kids, it might be tricky to evade them, so you will have to schedule your work around hours they are busy or work with your spouse and take turns watching over the kids.
Dress Yourself and the Kids Up
You and the kids may not be going anywhere, but getting out of your pyjamas will help get you in the mood to do the things you need to do. Know that what you wear matters. If you want everyone to have a productive day, dress as you and your kids would on a typical day for work and school.
Wake everyone early before their schedule and if possible, opt for a quick shower. That would be enough to wake everyone’s nerves in the morning. You may end up having more laundry to wash, but at least everyone will be in whatever mood they need to be.
Address Your Kid’s Physical, Academic, Behavioural, and Social-Emotional Needs
Different kids require different support. Some can easily adjust to another learning environment, while others need a little more structure. Know what your kids need and try to support their needs accordingly so you can reduce your stress in trying to help them adjust better.
For one, kids should know when it is time to study and learn, and when they can take a break, and when is the time for playing. Try to fit your work schedule, their online learning schedule, and family schedule. Provide your kids with choices, tell them what they need to expect, and don’t forget to reward and praise them every time they do well in school work and behaviour.
Schedule Your Day Accordingly
If you’re a morning person, then you will want to schedule doing the most challenging things in the morning. That can be working on the most important projects while you wait for the laundry to finish. But know that since you’re now working from home and taking care of the kids at the same time, you should manage your expectations and ditch your perfectionist tendencies.
Kids distracting you while you work can disrupt your state of flow, but know that this is only normal, especially when you have little kids. If you want fewer disruptions, schedule your important tasks, those that require your full attention early in the morning, while the kids are sleeping or late at night.
During the lazy hours, use that time to help kids with their homework or projects. Even if they are old enough and don’t need your help, try to be there and treat them with a healthy snack. That will assure them that you’re still making time for them despite your busy schedule.
Don’t forget to find ways to treat yourself with a little me time. That could mean waking up a little earlier or letting your kids enjoy one more hour of screen time just so you can have your coffee, read your favourite book, apply your morning skincare routine or enjoy that nice warm bubble bath. Know that not being able to finish every single housework does not necessarily mean you already fail in what you are supposed to accomplish.
Transitioning to remote work, with the kids at home learning from home and your house chores piling up on every corner, is not easy. But know that you can do this with a bit of hard work. Look at the brighter side and find things to be thankful for. The pandemic may have disrupted your life, but at least you and your family are safe and together.