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Alvaro Montoro
Alvaro Montoro

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How do you work with kids at home?

Hello, my name is Alvaro, and I am part of a little family with two parents (one of them myself) and two little kids.

Like many other people, we have been at home as our offices and schools closed due to coronavirus... but with both parents working, the situation got a bit complicated: when only one of us has a meeting, the other one can look after the kids; but when we both have meetings at the same time, things get difficult.

Animated gif of a pig with many piglets running around it

Working from home while schools are closed

So far, we handled it as we could, but as the WFH continues, we are getting more and more meetings, which overlap between both parents, and the time to take care of the kids has been considerably reduced.

We don't want to have the kids watching TV/Netflix all that time, drawing/painting/playing keep them entertained for a little while, and activities like ABC Mouse/PBS Kids apps sound cool but also include screen use (which doesn't seem ideal and brings a guiltiness feeling).

Plus we don't want to have them unattended because they are kids old enough to do a lot of things, but not old enough to know better... which is driving us a bit nuts sometimes.

How do other parents in a similar situation handle it? Do you have any suggestions or tips?

Top comments (3)

rafaelcastrocouto profile image

I have one daughter and I feel you. I work from home since before the pandemic and my wife work in office, so I can say I'm used to this situation. The one good tip I have is 'housework', it can be a quite handy way of teaching and entertaining at the same time. Things like separating cloth by color, cloth folding, bed making, toys organization, etc. They will need some guidance in the beginning but I assure you that they will have a great time finding their own way of doing it. You will not only get some extra time for the meeting but also give them something educational that won't come with the whole guilt stuff. Interruptions will still be a thing and learning how to handle them is the part where we are the ones that need some education 😉

tomavanc profile image
Tomas Vancoillie

We have 3 small children running in the house. Luckily my wife is also at home to take care of them full time. I can work from a seperate room, where the kids creativly made a sign with red on one side and green on the other. When I’m skyping with my boss for example, I’m turning the sign to red. So when they want to say something, they see the sign is red and return some later time. Another thing which works great is to provide structure for myself and the children. They know when I start to work, when we drink coffee (milk in their part) together around 10 and also around 15 in the afternoon. It is not a foolproof system, but it has helped me to concentrate on my work. When there are moments when they are screaming for attention, just take a break and play with them to settle them down and explain after sole time that you need to work again. My children are all below 4 and they understand that I can play for some time, but then have to leave me alone. It’s a trail and error way to see what works and what’s not. Good luck

waylonwalker profile image
Waylon Walker

LIsten to them. Take time for them when they need you. This pandemic is very emotional for them too.