With the current ongoing measures safeguarding the health of people in Malta, many have been adapting to a number of changes in our routines and plans. With the closing down of schools, more working parents are now making arrangements with employers to work from home in order to be present with their children at the same time. This arrangement comes with its advantages, but also with its challenges. I wished to share 5 tips on how to work from home with your kids around

1. Start by thinking of what routine works best

If you have the possibility of working flexible hours from home, take time to reflect on what routine would work best. If you have very young children, you might find that working when your children are having a nap or early in the morning might work best for you. If your children are older, then you can perhaps work while your children are engaged in another activity. Thus, I would recommend that you take some time to plan what strategy will work best for you and your children. You might also need to experiment with this until you come to identify what works best.

2. Have a brainstorming activity with your kids

You can encourage your children to sit down with you and make a list of all the activities that they can do. These can include a balance of educational activities and leisure activities for them to do while they are at home, even while you are working. You can even prepare an activity tool kit together, with different resources such as colours, paper, books, toys and so on for your children. It might also be good to plan some ideas for family activities so that your children are reassured that at some point during your day you will be spending some time together.

3. Create your own working space at home

Some of us may not have an office at home, thus I would encourage you to create a working space for yourself. You can explain to your children that this is where mummy or daddy will be doing their work for now, and maybe also explain to them what you will be working on while you are in your working space.

4. Be aware of your own anxiety and how it impacts your children’s behavior

It is natural to feel more anxious at a time such as this, where we are concerned about health, our loved ones and the changes that are happening around us. At the same time, be aware that your children might sense your anxiety, which in turn will leave your children needing more soothing, reassurance and attention. Thus, supporting yourself in dealing with your anxiety, might mean that your children are more at ease, which means that you can probably focus more on the work that you are doing.

5. Keep up your morale

Research shows that morale impacts our level of productivity when working. This means that if we manage to take care of ourselves, do a few things we enjoy doing while at home, call our loved ones and friends, and so on, our morale might be lighter and we might be able to focus more while working.

Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specialises in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on rebecca@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.