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Working from home and having school age children on virtual learning can feel overwhelming. So many interruptions in a day. It is hard to keep up with every deadline and project for work and help the children with their studies.

You may have to get creative with your ideas of how to reduce interruptions in your workday but still get the kids what they need as well. A few ideas that can help are looking at what is taking up your time. When are the key times or what are the key items that slow things down? Having the kids help appropriately for their age, is a great way to get them involved and learn responsibility. Your methods are going to be different for the ages of your children.

Elementary age children: Try to include them in the process of setting up a system that works. Some lite chores can work for this age but only if it is an inclusive approach, they get excited about helping.  Let them have input on the dinner menu, putting away groceries and picking out a dirty/clean magnet for the dishwasher and put them in charge of flipping it. Let them set the table and fold napkins into cute objects.

Ask them what duties around the house they enjoy most and give them choices. Kids love choices. “Ok, for the next 15 minutes we are going to tidy up. Do you prefer to help me put dishes away or put shoes away? Would you prefer to organize toys or fold towels?” “I’ll take what you don’t pick but we all have to work for 15 minutes.”

For teens: They can handle a little more responsibility and functionality of the home. Still give them the opportunity to pick between items but also set the expectation that the dishes they use will be rinsed and placed in the dishwasher.

A shared e-calendar is a great idea for a family then everyone can see what is going on. A dry erase calendar for a central location can help with notes/questions. The “I need help with” board is the best thing we have found. My family uses a white board daily for whatever someone needs help with.

Whatever is on your kid’s minds they can note it on there. This can be used for younger children as well. This is a place they can note what is important without disrupting your workday. If it is something that can wait until later, write it on the board. Then set a time to review it together maybe lunch and after dinner. Come up with workable solutions for the items noted.

Some examples the kid’s write. “I need picked up from practice on Wed.” “My hair needs cut, need an appt.” “I need help with math.” Some of the items a parent could post with teens, “Please make a grooming appointment for the dog.” “I have a late meeting; I need someone to help with dinner on Tues.” “Reminder that grandma’s birthday is Thurs.”

There has never been a better time to pull kids and teens into the process of running a household. They are home more with less activities. Let them have the experience that they will need to build upon for their own homes later in life. Including them in the daily processes are a good way for them to understand everything that goes into running a household and maybe get a glimpse into what you do as an adult daily.

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