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Are you a “working from home” family? We have all been finding ways to cope as parents, grandparents, teenagers and young adults—especially with little ones about. Working from home used to apply to only the self-employed. Now many more of us are up to our eyeballs in sorting out how we all work and learn and play and eat all under one roof every day!
Here are four key tips to build a new daily Family Thriving Plan. Let’s imagine this is an opportunity, not a problem. We will get through this together.
This is THE most important tip! Create a large flipchart-sized schedule for the entire day to help facilitate working from home with children. Coordinate and plan mealtimes, chores, school and homework time, work time (for you), break time, play dates, screen time, entertainment and game time, reading time and family time. Use your creative side—what about music time, theatre/play time, exercise time, outside time and whatever you can think of as something you can add to a time block. Get everyone on board to help keep it going, so you don’t end up being the nag or trying to enforce military precision.
Review your own capacity, challenges, expectations and emotional bandwidth. Take a realistic look at the world as it is right now and how we are all doing our best. If you need to, speak to your boss about your schedule, how much you can accomplish and ask for any support they can offer. Tap into any outside support such as grandparents (you can show them how to do a video call) and they can help with reading or other learning opportunities. Also, you can manage your own time blocks in 50 minutes, not 60 minutes, so you can catch your breath for 10 minutes and check on the kids. Be kind to yourself. Self-care is a must!
Draw your line in the sand and stick with it say many seasoned parents who are part of a working-from-home family. They have learned how to communicate to their kids (without yelling) the basic guidelines to help mom get her work done. Many parents have shared that when the door is shut, this means no coming in! (Be sure to open it when you are done so everyone understands the system.)
A working-from-home family can become an “all hands on deck” family. This is the new approach for including everyone to join in the planning, preparing and even helping create a “snack bar.” The night before, build into your planning having enough drinks and healthy snacks available for the whole family, complete with portions in ready-to-go small containers. Build up resilience in your kids by teaching them how to prepare a day’s worth of snacks and drinks.
We hope you enjoyed our tips on how to thrive as a family when parents and children are both home all day. Don’t forget to check out our other organizing and cleaning tips such as how to organize your home and tidy up properly, great home office ideas to inspire you and how to improve your self-management.
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