Let's face it COVID-19 threw all of us for a loop. No one saw it coming and no one could have predicted it's impact. An impact that was felt by working mom and dads, who now had to work from home with kids. I have been working from home for years with kids so I was already prepared for the stress that it can bring to your working life. My youngest finally started Kindergarten this year and I had pure excitement. I thought my working days would now be uninterrupted finally and I could get more work done. Boy was I ever wrong! COVID-19 changed that and instead of having no kids at home while I worked, I now had three young kids ranging from age 11 to 4. Here are three tips that I have used over the years and now during the new normal of working from home with young kids.
Tap into your inner child
Sometimes when you are working at home with kids, you have to just surrender and tap into your inner child. Take a break and do what they do. My son likes to tickle me when I am working and sometimes it is at the wrong time, such as when I am under a deadline crunch. But I have to admit that when he tries his best to tickle me, it comes as a wanted break from the stress of what I am doing. I look at this little face and see how much he wants me to play with him and I do just that. I chase him around the house and we both laugh. I then I realize how much I needed his little distraction. Take regular recesses with your kids when you are home working with them. It is a win win idea.
Make your children part of the team
Working at home with kids can be made easier if you just include them in what you are doing. Make your children understand how important your work is to you by making them part of your work from home team. For example, I made my eight year daughter print manager. As print manager, her job was to collect everything from the printer that I had printed. She was also in charge of making sure that the printer was well stocked with paper. She rather enjoyed that and was very enthusiastic whenever I printed anything. If you have stapling to be done or letters to stuff or hole punching, put the kids to work and make up creative titles that they will enjoy. This will encourage them to value what you do since they are now part of the team.
Encouraging your children to be entrepreneurs is very beneficial even if they don't become entrepreneurs later in life. It encourages them to become driven. It teaches them not to give up no matter what work environment they are in. While you are working, encourage them to set up their own business at home. Help them to understand the different parts of a business. Sales, Marketing, Accounting and customer service. Help them to understand how important it is to accomplish tasks while they are running their own created business. This will in turn help them to understand why mom or dad needs to get work done while they are at home.
Bottomline, kids don't always have to be seen as a threat to working from home. Make them a strong and fun ally. Take a tickle break, it can increase your productivity.