Parenting and working from home
COVID-19 has many of us playing multiple roles simultaneously. If you find yourself among the many Americans who are working from home and caring for children, you are not alone. Although this may seem like a tall task, there are strategies that you can employ to make this more manageable for everyone, and it's likely at this point that you have already discovered some of your own methods for making this work.
There are a plethora of resources available, including these tips from the World Health Organization. They have compiled six one-page tip sheets to help parents interact constructively with their children during this time. They are summarized below. To access the full tip sheets, visit: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/healthy-parenting.
- Plan one-on-one time with each child- Try to set aside at least 20 minutes a day to give your child your undivided attention. Shut off phones and screen time, and ask your child what they would like to do.
- Keep things positive- Praise your child when they are behaving well, and keep your expectations realistic. Work to keep a calm voice and use your child's name when trying to get their attention. Shouting will make everyone involved more stressed.
- Provide structure- Our normal routines have been turned upside down. Create a flexible but consistent daily routine so everyone knows loosely what to expect.
- Redirect bad behavior- All kids misbehave. When they start to get restless, distract them with something interesting or fun.
- Keep calm and manage stress- Take a break! Step back and know that you are not alone. Find someone to talk to if you are overwhelmed.
- Talk to your children about COVID-19- Be open and honest. Listen to concerns. Think about how much they will understand, as you know your child best. End the conversation on a positive note.