Q • The company I work for has recently decided that the employees can now work from home at least twice a week. I had no idea what an adjustment this would be for myself as well as for my family. What are some rules for kids on not constantly interrupting when a parent works from home that are doable? This would also apply to my husband.
From a reader • With the current state of the coronavirus scare, many people will be working from home. This is the perfect time to try your hand at it. You’ll have to play it by ear as to what works for your individual situation. I can tell you that it’s not easy but can be managed if you have some rules in place and stick to them. As long as you take it seriously, so will your family. —Carrie J. in San Diego,
From Jodie Lynn • By now, you’re probably working from home full time, and there are a lot of parents that are doing the same due to COVID-19. There are plenty of questions coming in from parents about how to do so and be successful.
When I started my column in 1996, I began working from home and my kids were relatively young, so I also had to figure out how to handle interruptions, do my research and meet my editor’s deadlines.
Here are some tips that helped me:
• You already had time management skills at work and you’ll have to implement them at home simply due to unexpected family disruptions.
• Get organized. Find an area where you can set up a home “office” to work where your kids know that if you’re in that area, you’re not to be disturbed. This will help in cutting down on too many interruptions.
• Since my home office didn’t have a door, something that helped me was that if I was in that room and had on a ball cap, that was the sign for my children as well for my husband that I was working.
• Prioritize your time. Do the most important work first. With your new, flexible schedule, you can do these when the kids are asleep and thus quieter. This is key when you also need to talk on the phone.
• It’s still important to take mini-breaks even if it’s only to stand up, stretch and walk around a little.
• Schedule a time when you can eat lunch. If the kids are around, eat with them if you like and maybe play a quick game or just let them talk and interact with you.
• Depending on the ages of your kids, you may have to schedule time to help them get online and get their homework assignments and such. This can be done either the night before so that they can perhaps do as much of it as possible or each morning.
• If your kids still need a babysitter, you can always utilize a teen or college student in your neighborhood or the nearby area, since they’re likely off, too.
Just remember, all of this is new to your children as well as yourself and they’ll be looking to you for guidance.
Can you help?
My 6-year-old son has been struggling with learning how to read. He’s been tested, but there has been no clear reason why he shouldn’t be able to learn. How can we help him without constantly nagging? Now that it’s mandatory that I work from home, I’ll have more time to try to help.
To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email: email@example.com, or go to parenttoparent.com which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning parenting columnist, author of five books and mother to three children. She and her family live in Wildwood.
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