One new challenge that many parents are facing is navigating a new world of working from home, with a child home as well! Whether it is the inability to find a quiet place to work, or constant interruptions while working or maybe trying to find the time to work when there is so much to be done for your child, it is not an easy task! But work is important and needs to be done, so this challenge will be overcome. With some planning, scheduling and preparation you can avoid noise and interruptions and be focused and productive at your new work environment.
Consistency is key! Whenever possible, make your work from home time the same time every day. Teach your child that between these hours you are working and are unable to entertain them. While you want your child to know you are unavailable during the time you are working, you also want them to feel safe and know that you are available for emergencies. Just make sure to outline in advance what an emergency is, otherwise, you may find yourself with an interruption over a missing video game or lack of fruit snacks! In addition to feeling safe, you also want your child to feel important. Let them know that their needs are still being met, even though you are working. If possible, set them up with a planned activity during the time you are working, so they are busy independently and not feeling left out having “free time”. You can even make this time special for them with something such as a video game that they only get to play while you are working.
A great way to reinforce their behavior while you are working is to establish a reward system when you are done with work. For this to be most effective, the reward needs to be given immediately after you work time is complete. Do not honor the reward if your child interrupts your work for a non-emergency. One of the best, effective and free reward you can give your child is one-on-one time with you. For example, “I need to work from 9-2pm today. If you let me focus on work during that time, as soon as I am done at 2pm I will watch a movie of your choice with you.” Working from home is no easy feat, but not only is it possible, it is a great opportunity to model the focus, effort and positive attitude you would like your child to have during schoolwork! All it takes is a little bit of planning, preparation and a lot of