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Survival Guide for WFH Parents with kids at home too (open source)

With schools closing to support efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, parents are now rapidly switching gears into full-time parenting plus full-time work mode. This is an open-source doc to gather ideas for those attempting to stay sane working from home, while also keeping the kids productive / entertained / not get into too much trouble ;)

coronavirus, freelance, teaching, parenting, teaching strategies

view-only access to this doc, use this link

Full-time parenting plus full-time working? This is an open-source doc to gather ideas for those of us attempting to stay sane WFH, while also keeping the kids productive / entertained / not get into too much trouble ;)

This is a new way of working for most of us, and we're discovering together how to integrate kids and work. Please share great resources, ideas, and insights by adding them below.


Parent Needs

Kid Stuff

* Free educational resources for kids

* Free activities for kids

* Paid educational resources

Parent Needs

* Stay calm - take some deep breaths. Pace yourself. Be open to trying new approaches. We might be in for a marathon, not a sprint. Let's try not to sprint a marathon.

* Management support - Align on expectations with your manager/employer. Share your situation with your manager and ask for their support as you integrate kids at home.

* Talk about meeting norms

* Can any meetings be shortened, eliminated, or move to asynchronous updates?

* Ask what's highest priority during this timeframe, especially if you can't be at full capacity.

* Flexibility - talk to your manager/team about flexible hours. Reflect on your idea of working hours now that childcare is happening throughout the day. What moments require dedicated attention for kid needs (besides all the time! e.g., prepping meals, putting down for naps, etc)?

* Consider a shift based approach. If you have the luxury of a two-parent household and a workplace with flexible schedules, trade-off “shifts” - e.g., tradeoff 2-3 hour blocks, oruja7erurutur83k 33ii7u2u82k8U5t5tPt5 each partner takes half a day. Discuss what is the highest priority for each of you at work and how to support. Check out these other ideas, or this Spreadsheet for tracking your family schedule.

* Create space in your day: shorten meetings (eg 45min instead of 60 min, and 25min instead of 30min), try starting 5-15min later.

* Experiment with integrating work and life. Extra 5 min? Wash a few dishes, grab the mail, take out the trash, or throw in a load of laundry. Or split up your workout into 5-10 min segments (invite the kids to join in too). Try a call instead of a video conference once in a while to multitask - take a walk or fold that laundry. If needed, make a list of quick things to do.

* Prep meals/snacks for yourself and the kids ahead of time so you don't have to cook midday. If possible, prep multiple days at a time. If your kids are old enough and it makes sense for your schedule, have self serve snacks / meals.

* Involve the kids: If your kids are old enough, involve them in cooking, doing chores, coming up with ideas for activities, and being a contributor to the household. Make it seem fun. They might surprise you.

* Self-care

* Prioritize basics like using the bathroom, drinking water, and eating (schedule these in if needed!)

* Exercise - this could vary from setting a workout routine to taking breaks to stretch and walk around.

* Create your space

* Set up a functional workspace

* Identify/Create spaces where video conferencing/calls can be done if multiple people have calls at the same time in the home.

* Identify what recharge time looks like and how to carve it out (eg get outside, deep breathing, journaling before bed, a glass of wine, etc)

* Develop a morning routine for yourself to get into the mindset for the day. Could be simply getting dressed, a cup of coffee, or few dedicated moments for an activity.

* Set goals/boundaries / expectations

* Remote work canvas

* Reset self expectations that you'll be as productive at both work and parenting as in normal circumstances. These are not normal circumstances.

* Give yourself permission to take time to figure out what will work. Hard things have steep learning curves.

* Be compassionate to yourself. You are doing what you can. It is all you can do.

* What can be eliminated or pushed out for a few months (at work and at home)?

* Make time for breaks and fun. Managing this new reality is tough, so find moments to relax and laugh together. It makes the hard stuff easier.

* Reflect on the wins: there's a lot you're doing. Take a moment to recognize that - what is going well, what are you thankful for, etc.

* Mental wellness for parents

* It’s OK if you’re barely getting by right now (HuffPost)

* Parents are not ok (medium)

* Parenting through covid-19 (Psychology today article)

* Dealing with anxiety

* A guide on progressive muscle relaxation, a helpful exercise for anxiety

* Meditation apps for sleep, anxiety, stress: Insight Timer, Calm, Headspace, Ten Percent Happier

* Technology - Internet bandwidth may be impacted with multiple people on wifi at the same time at home (streaming movies/games etc)

* Try scheduling streaming/gaming activities around conference calls or download movies during non-call times etc. (it’s tempting to tell the kids to watch a movie while you’re on a conference call but eats bandwidth causing issues on conference calls)

* If possible, consider a hard LAN connection instead of a wifi connection for your video conference PC/Laptop - LAN connections directly to the router will always be a better option especially as there is a lot of wifi traffic from neighbors etc which might cause connection and bandwidth issues.

* Food

* Food safety & Coronavirus: Comprehensive Guide (Serious Eats)

* Recipes for cooking at home in the time of coronavirus (Bon Appetit)

* Discuss perspectives on food with your family (is takeout/delivery ok, how often to grocery shop, disinfecting procedures when bringing food home, who is responsible for figuring out food, etc).

* Other resources

* Practical tips for WFH with kids (Kids Eat in Color blog)

* Guidance from CDC on how to talk to kids

Survival Guide for WFH Parents with kids at home too (open source)
Tags Coronavirus, Freelance, Teaching, Parenting, Teaching strategies
Type Google Doc
Published 13/01/2021, 21:00:51


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