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Working from Home with Children

HR Cougar Corner

As we continue to telecommute, and the school year ends, the stress of helping children with schoolwork has concluded, but many are still facing the challenge of caring for children while working. Of course, handling childcare depends largely on the age of your children and their level of independence. As we go into summer break and warmer weather, they may be able to go outside and play giving you some dedicated time to get work done, or if this isn’t an option, you may need to schedule a few play breaks throughout the day to get outside with them. There are many web sites dedicated to summer activities that you can do with your kids (a quick Google search provides hundreds of options). Take some time out from your day to try one or two out. Multitasking decreases efficiency, so work in bursts by setting a timer for about 60-90 minutes (depending on your children’s age) and let your kids know not to disturb you unless there is an emergency. The definition of emergency should be explained. When the timer goes off, reward the kids for their patience by doing an activity together.

While summer offers a more relaxed schedule, experts still stress it’s important to have a routine in place for you and your children. Set your morning alarm for the same time everyday and schedule a lunchtime for your children. You may also consider giving them a specific task, chore or fun workout to do at the same time each day, so they differentiate between a work day and the weekend. Help them develop freedom and independence by learning how to entertain themselves with books, an art project, or a craft. Another suggestion is to fill a snack basket with food (healthy options) so they can help themselves when they get hungry.

Click here for a great resource for families during the pandemic. Topics range from connecting with your kids, to building resiliency, to helping your teens cope with the pandemic.