Working from home allows us to be more involved in our children’s lives than we could be otherwise. Walking them to the bus in the morning or taking a midday break to chauffeur them to a playdate provides the opportunity to chat about their day, hear about a new friend, or discuss something that they are concerned about. Now that it’s summer, though, a lot of kids are home more than usual, and schedules are all over the place. This presents a unique set of challenges for the work-at-home parent.
Work With Me
Your workload probably doesn’t change in summer, so your children need to be occupied so you can be productive. With school out, create homework assignments from resources their teacher sent home, or from the wide range of age-appropriate materials you can find online. If they can be fairly quiet, you can share your home office, which can be its own special bonding experience.
Work For It
The kids are probably clamoring for “screentime.” If you allow it, at least use it as a bargaining tool. Is their room messy? Do the bathroom tiles need a scrub? Trade a chore for an increment of screentime. The more jobs they do, the more screentime they get.
Give them a project that gets their creative juices flowing. If they enjoy writing, challenge them to write a short work of fiction – a chapter a week will keep them busy! If making art is more their speed, set up a space in your home where they can work on a big project all summer—sculpture, collage, a series of masks…whatever piques their interest. For little ones, encourage them to use their Lincoln Logs or Legos to create something big that they add to each day. Projects like these will teach your children perseverance. And if they’re comfortable with it, share their creation with family and friends. The praise they receive will provide a very satisfying sense of accomplishment!