Working at home with your kids

working at home with kids wall cladding

We’re heading towards the end of the month and the end of school holidays and, even though many schools are staying open across Australia, advice given across the country is still quite mixed. Many parents are still wondering what’s the right choice to make and, in the meantime, they also have to juggle work and house related tasks. Bit of a handful!

We do have parents amongst our ranks and we can completely empathise on how challenging it has been for all of you out there. We also know it’s really hard to organise zoom meetings whilst having a toddler, child or teenager with you at all times.

We’ve put together below a couple of tips and links you might find helpful if your kids are at home with you but also for any Sundays where you’re lacking inspiration.

1 – Plan, plan and plan

No need to turn your life into a bootcamp but a solid family planning calendar might help you gain some structure and actually achieve part of what has been planned (we have to be realistic here).

Gather everyone together and decide as a collective, listing what needs to be done and who’s doing it, including your work. Once everyone “signs up” to the plan, stick it somewhere visible so you can hold each other accountable – and leave some time for celebrating sticking to the plan too.

2 – Set realistic expectations

As mentioned above, you might not be able to get around doing everything you planned for but, even achieving some should be celebrated. It’s hard to set new routines, especially if they’re not freely chosen, but don’t give up.

Try stick with 30 to 45minutes activities, depending on the age of your children and if you’re the only parent around or not, so that kids can be comfortable sticking to that activity while you try focus on your tasks. Also, not the right time to multi-task, trust us.

3 – Step it up

Cooking, cleaning, exercising can all be done together with your kids and, partly, might also be carried out by them without supervision. We’re not talking about turning your kids into mini butlers but giving them “grown ups” responsibilities can help boosting their mood especially if they’re keen to try doing new things.

Younger kids can help with simpler task whilst teenagers could help you with more substantial chores and supervising their younger siblings.

4 – Connect with other parents and family members

Keep in touch with other parents you know or connect with parents’ groups online. It can come in handy to chat with someone else to gain a different perspective or ask for advice, and to realise everyone is going through the same struggles.

You may be even able to plan for activities together (e.g. all your kids watching a documentary at the same time and videocall after to chat about what they learnt, liked or disliked) and help each other whilst being distant.

Relatives might also be able to help as we’re sure they’ll love regular updates from you and the kids.

5 – Utilise all the resources available to you

Luckily, remote learning materials and good online resources are at our fingertips and we’re able to tap into them when required. Just sharing a few that you might like to have a look into:

Activities, indoors and outdoors, for various ages here, here and here

Parents sharing their favourite at home activities here

Zoos and animal webcams can be found here and here

Exercising for or with kids here

Sure you’re already aware although if one app fails you, bear in mind free video calling can be set up through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, Slack, Google Duo, Viber and WeChat to name a few.

We hope this information will help you keeping your kids entertained as well as freeing up some of your time so that you won’t have to re-read that email for the 10th time, prior answering, on loop for the rest of the week.