People are now being advised to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, to avoid exposure to infection. But with your child at home, now that their schools are also shut, this can be challenging since you may also have to cater to your little one’s whims and fancies amid professional commitments, apart from other household tasks.
For parents working from home, here are some tips on how you can manage it with your child at home.
1. Modify your routine
Working from home does not mean you give up your daily routine completely. It is recommended that you maintain your regular routine–from having breakfast on time to doing other activities during the day. But now that your child may also be at home with most schools being shut, tweak your schedule–your professional work hours and other chores–to be able to spend some time with your child as well. Sounderya Singh, a mom working from home, told Express Parenting, “Regarding our work timings, we have not changed our schedule much. We wake up and have breakfast at the usual time and start our work. We are doing home workouts in between for 5-10 minutes every two hours or so.”
2. Plan your day in advance
To avoid confusion, mark your schedule on a calendar in advance. Keep track of your child’s schedule and the household chores you want to complete while working from home, and assign the duties among family members accordingly.
3. Share duties
Do not overburden yourself by trying to take up childcare duties and all other responsibilities while working from home or it may only lead to chaos. Divide duties with your partner who can take care of your child for a few hours while you complete your professional commitments, for instance. Singh too is following the same rule. “My husband and I take turns for office calls,” said the mother who has a five-year-old daughter.
4. Engage your child
During the time you are working, get your child involved in interesting activities like playing virtual games, reading books, listening to podcasts, art and craft, online activities and so on. That way you may not be interrupted too many times as you work.
5. Set realistic goals
Keeping realistic goals in your professional and personal life will save you from unnecessary anxiety and stress. You will also be able to manage the expectations of your child and others better.
6. Talk to your child
It is recommended that you explain to your child the situation about coronavirus pandemic in an age-appropriate way. Explain to them why you all need to stay indoors. Involve your child in planning the day’s activities; talk to them about why you need to work from home and how they can help you go about the daily routine. Priya Rajendran, mother to a five-year-old, who has been working from home, added, “Segregate a separate office space for yourself at home and make sure your kid knows you are working. Reserve some time of the day with your child so that you will not get disturbed during working hours.”
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