Working from home with your kids around can be stressful at times. But there are plenty of ways to keep them occupied so you can be as productive as possible during the day.
Have a Schedule Handy
We don’t have to tell you that things don’t always go as you planned when you have kids at home—that’s like preaching to the choir. They'll turn to you just when you're trying to complete your work assignments while answering client phone calls, attending video conferences and starting last-minute projects. Creating a schedule or at least an outline describing that day’s activities is helpful. Then you and your kids will have an idea of what the day will bring.
Keep Your Child’s Individual Interests in Mind
Having a list of activities tailored to their own interests and age can help keep them busy as you work at home.
Here are a few examples:
- Invite their friends over. As crazy as it sounds, having more kids around can be easier to handle, especially when the kids are older and more independent because you won’t have to keep as close an eye on them. Instead of their complaining to you how bored they are, they’ll have their friends to keep them company. This is a great suggestion when your kids are off from school during the holidays or on their summer break.
- Have their favorite TV shows on standby. DVR new episodes or prepare marathons of your children’s favorite TV shows to ensure that you’ll always have a few on-hand.
- Get them excited about chores. No, this isn’t a joke. Rewarding your kids when they do chores around the house is one way to get them motivated to do them routinely. Plus, there are work-from-home apps that can help you set this up, such as ChoreMonster. This app establishes a point system for your kids. Every time they complete a chore, they are rewarded a certain number of points that gets them closer to their reward, which is whatever you decided on previously.
- Download kid-friendly apps. Or fun computer games. There are a slew of apps, including abc Pocket Phonics and Talking Tom Cat, as well as computer games that are both fun and educational, keeping kids entertained as you tackle your to-do-list for the day.
Other activities to have on hand when you're working from home with your kids around are coloring, doing puzzles, and reading. One way to offset your children’s short attention spans is to have them play a different set of games each day so that they won’t get bored.
Consider Hiring a Babysitter
Even though you’re physically at home, you’re still working. Hiring a babysitter for those extra busy days in your schedule would definitely lift some weight off your shoulders. This way, you can concentrate on your work while knowing that your kids are being looked after in the next room.