5 tips for working from home with children during the coronavirus outbreak

mother on phone looking at laptop with her daughter sitting next to her drawing.

Due to the rising COVID-19 cases, companies and businesses across the globe are asking their employees to work from home. This means that many parents suddenly have the task to take care of and entertain their children whilst adjusting to a new life of managing working from home.

Here are five top tips to help you and your children during this time:

1. Create a schedule

Sit down with your children and create a daily schedule for the week. Choose specific times for homework, reading, fun time, bedtime, etc. You can make it fun by writing the schedule on a piece of paper or cardboard and get the kids to decorate it. Talk them through it each morning so they know what to expect.

Don’t forget to hang this up for them to see!

2. Relax screen time rules

Given the circumstances, it’s OK for children to be on their screens more than usual. Try letting them use their devices for short periods at a time a few times during the day – rather than binge-watching over one long period. Remember not all screen time is bad, so why not watch educational and fun shows with them?
Just ensure parental controls are enabled.

3. Have regular check-in discussions

Set aside a time to talk as a family about how everyone is feeling and coping with the outbreak – there is a lot of false information around coronavirus online so be more vigilant and critical about what you see and only trust information from reputable sources.

It’s also important to help them manage any feelings of anxiety. They may be feeling this way over what they see, hear or the fact they’re missing out on face-to-face interactions with their friends.

4. Stay in touch with family and friends

Children may be feeling left out from not being able to socialise as much, so allow them to video or voice call their friends and extended family.

Staying in touch can help your family feel more at ease with the new working situation and provide a sense of comfort and connection with one another.

5. Go for a walk

If you or your children don’t have any symptoms of the virus, why not try to go for a walk in the park? A bit of fresh air can help and it’s always nice to have a change of scenery!

You can adjust these tips to suit the specific needs your child may have according to their age and levels of maturity.

Apps and tools to support your child at home

Find apps on a range of topics for your children and family:

  • Education – Here are top 10 apps that children will have fun using yet encourage learning too. For ages 4+. Click here.
  • Active – Make the most of kids’ screen time with these apps to help them get moving and develop healthy habits. For all ages. Click here.
  • Downtime – See our list of 13 great apps to keep children amused over this period. For ages 0-14+. Click here.
Bonus tip! light-bulb

Use the school day – follow their regular school start and finish times. Get the important school stuff done early in the day (English and Maths for example) with regular breaks/play and set lunchtimes.

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