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Have a family plan of action.

A lot has changed in the world over the last few weeks and we are all trying to adapt to the new situation and working from home with small children can be challenging. It is an incredible, amazing and difficult task to guide and support children in this situation, to make sure you get some work done and also get some moments to yourself. 

In the following blog, we will give you tips on how to manage work-life balance when working from home during the home quarantine. A family plan of action can help to bring some balance in your household, give children a sense of security and will help you as a parent to work from home and to relax.  As a working parent myself with 2 children, ages 6 and 9, I find it is a challenging time for families. As a professional parenting consultant, I have made some family survival tips that will help you create more balance. So let’s start with the first tip.

A lot has changed in the world over the last few weeks and we are all trying to adapt to the new situation and working from home with small children can be challenging. It is an incredible, amazing and difficult task to guide and support children in this situation, to make sure you get some work done and also get some moments to yourself. 

In the following blog, we will give you tips on how to manage work-life balance when working from home during the home quarantine. A family plan of action can help to bring some balance in your household, give children a sense of security and will help you as a parent to work from home and to relax.  As a working parent myself with 2 children, ages 6 and 9, I find it is a challenging time for families. As a professional parenting consultant, I have made some family survival tips that will help you create more balance. So let’s start with the first tip.

1. Make an action plan for the family together.

A family plan of action starts with making an inventory of the wishes of all the family members. It is important to make sure that children have a saying in this inventory so they know that they are an important member of the family. You can make this inventory during a family meeting if your children are old enough. You can ask children what they would like from the time when they are able to talk in small sentences. Just make sure your expectations of the answers your child might give matches their age. With small children, for instance, you might ask what they would like to do that morning and they might say that they would like to go to the zoo and have ice cream.

2. Translate the wishes of all the family members into a plan 

Then comes the most important part which is to translate the wishes of all the family members into a plan for the next day or days. Keep the plan short-term so you will have the opportunity to evaluate and to adjust the plan. 

For instance, if you feel overwhelmed by this new situation and you feel like you need time to yourself. The question to ask yourself is “how can I get some time to myself tomorrow in this situation?”. Make your wish into a realistic plan. Think about possibilities instead of problems. For instance; You might not be able to watch a movie in the afternoon to relax and have time for yourself. But what can you do tomorrow? For instance; have a cup of tea alone in a separate room for a couple of minutes, read a book for 15 minutes alone, have a nice long bath in the evening, do sports for half an hour, etc. Another example; when your child’s wish is to go to the zoo and eat ice cream. The translation of that wish into a realistic plan for the next day might be to make a zoo in the house, garden or balcony. Get out all the stuffed animals, create cages for them and then go for an imaginable walk through the zoo with the family. 

With small children, you might do step 2 without them. If your children are older you can include them in this process if they want to. If they don’t want to take part, don’t make an issue of it. It can be smart to pick your battles when you are in home quarantine ;).

3. If you have a partner, make sure you are in agreement about the plan

Now you have turned your plan into concrete steps for the next day or so. If you have a partner, make sure you are in agreement about the plan. If you want you can write the plan down.

4. Put the plan in action the next day.

Go ahead and give it your best shot. Put the plan in action the next day. In the morning get the family together and go through the plan of the day so everyone knows what to expect.

5. Evaluate

To evaluate your plan will give you the opportunity to learn what works and what needs adjustment. Have realistic expectations about the success of the plan. It is normal that things will not go exactly according to plan, especially in family life. When you are evaluating the plan make sure you notice first what went well. A good rule for evaluation is to name 2 things that went well and 1 thing that you would like to adjust the next time.

To sum it up, the first family survival tip to balance work/life during home quarantine is to make a realistic family plan. Don’t forget that as parents you are doing many loving and supporting things for your child every day even when it does not feel like it. Working parents you are amazing!

If you have any questions; please feel free to contact us for an online parenting coaching session.