3 Tips to Improve Working from Home with Children

Many of us have had to completely adjust our way of life due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including working remotely. Parents can no longer drop their children off at school and begin the commute to work. They are now forced to find a way to juggle parenting, monitoring remote learning, and remaining productive at work. The change is massive, but there are a few ways that you can make it work.

1. Dedicated Office Space

When you walk into your office, your brain clicks into work mode. This is not as easy when you are at home with all the distractions around you. It is crucial to create an office space in your home to help trigger your mind to begin thinking about work. Inform your family that this area is designated for your time. If you have young children, you can create fun signs to remind everyone in the house that when you are at “work,” you are not to be disturbed.

2. Create Routines

You once had a great routine. Children went to school, where they had set times for classes and meals. You went to work and had a set lunchtime. Those routines disappeared once everyone was in the house. Now there is food in the house, class schedules are more relaxed, and you must adjust. While you can work with your employer to create a more flexible work schedule that allows you to also assist with education requirements, there are some routines you can put into place. Have everyone still up at a set time for breakfast and get dressed for the day. Remember, our minds work on habits. Set a lunchtime and a snack time, so you do not find yourself snacking throughout the day. Finally, set a time when you will quit work and school for the day. Every day will not be perfect, but as your family adjusts, it will get better.

3. Set Expectations

Children do best with clear expectations of what is being requested of them. While you will want to set expectations for your children, you also want to converse with your employer about what working remotely will look like. With your children, they should know when they are to be in class or learning on their own. For your work situation, make sure meetings are scheduled in advance, so you do not run into the problem of having too many people on video calls at the same time. Have clear rules set for tracking hourly work, and ensure everyone is relaxed with children sometimes interrupting.

It is unknown when life will go back to the “normal” we knew before the pandemic. Therefore, it is up to us to adapt everyone to return to pre-March 2020. With these three tips, you reduce stress and create an atmosphere everyone benefits from. Working from home while parenting will come with good days and bad days, so take it one day at a time.

How Moms Can Make Time for Themselves

Moms literally do it all. Between work, kids, household chores, and some semblance of social life, it can be challenging to find any time for themselves. We’re giving some great tips to help busy supermoms enjoy a little “me time.”

FINDING THE TIME

The first step towards enjoying “me time” is finding the time for it. It involves rearranging your schedule a bit so you can sneak in an extra 15 minutes here and there to unwind.

Instead of using your kid’s nap time to work or clean, spend it doing something you enjoy instead. You can get the kids involved with the household chores, so you don’t have to take up your valuable alone time doing that.

Getting up a little earlier than the kids or going to bed a little later also allows you to have a bit of alone time. You may be exhausted, but you’ll be surprised at how rejuvenated you feel after having your morning cup of coffee in peace or relaxing with a glass of wine and a good book at the end of the day.

WHAT TO DO WITH THAT TIME

Once you find the time, you have to decide how to spend it. While the obvious is merely sitting in silence and enjoying the quiet, the more “me time” you carve out, the more fun things you can do to relax. Try:

  • Reading a book
  • Listening to music
  • Binge-watching a show
  • Having an at-home spa session
  • Playing online games
  • Eating your favorite food
  • Talking to a friend
  • Taking a walk
  • Getting crafty with some scrapbooking, crocheting, etc
  • Having coffee with friends
  • Going shopping

CONTINUING “ME TIME”

Now that you’ve found it, you want to keep the trend going! Scheduling alone time gets more manageable as your kids get older, but there are always ways to find more kid-free time in the present. Surround yourself with supportive mom friends who are willing to trade off valuable “me time” moments. With a good community and these helpful tips, “me time” is within reach.

How to Keep Your Children Focused During Remote Learning

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced radical changes in virtually all sectors, including education. The stay-at-home government directives have pushed schools to adopt the concept of remote learning for our children. The short attention span of children could, however, easily threaten the success of this initiative. Here are some tips on how, as a parent, you may come through for your children to help them stay focused during remote learning.

Provide the resources

The success of remote learning for children dramatically depends on the availability of the necessary resources, including laptops and internet connections. One of the essential parenting tips for distance learning requires you to provide your children with laptops or desktop computers connected to the internet. You may also have to show your children how to navigate basic computer programs essential for the remote learning sessions.

Nurture a routine

Unlike adults, children may take some time before they adapt to the discipline of unsupervised learning via the internet. To help them stay organized and disciplined, you should help them set a routine, such as a calendar or digital organizer, to keep track of daily events. The routine should match that of the digital learning program for the kids’ schools. Such a routine helps the child to keep pace with the learning program and not fall behind.

Review progress

Like in classroom-based learning, remote learning should be monitored in terms of the student’s progress. As a parent, you should supplement the distance learning program assessment by regularly checking your child’s progress. Progress review may involve doing some spot checks and asking some basic concepts taught during the remote learning sessions.

Think big

To make remote learning work for your children, you may have to come on board and help them create bigger goals and gradually achieve them. It would help if you showed your child how to look at the bigger picture regarding how the pandemic is slowly shifting the education sector’s dynamics and creating challenges. After demonstrating this, you may show the child how they can come on board and help resolve the pandemic’s problems by thinking creatively.

Read more at JenniferPowers.me.

End-of-Summer Activities for the Whole Family

As the summer months come to a close and children prepare their backpacks for a new school year, it can be quite the bummer for both parents and kids. However, just because summer is coming to a close doesn’t mean everyone has to be gloomy. The weather is still warm, so there’s still plenty of time to have some fun. Here are a few end-of-summer activities for the whole family.

Head Over to the Local Park

It may be too late for a long hiking trip, but there’s always time to take a walk at the park. Gather the whole family and head over to your favorite city park to enjoy some quality outdoor time. If you want to take that extra step to make it a lot more fun, you can even prepare a scavenger hunt for the kids.

Throw a Small-Scale Summer Bash

Who needs a ton of people to party? One of the best ways to celebrate the end of the summer months is to throw your very own end-of-the-season bash in your backyard. Set up the pool, play some games, and make some snow cones. This bash will be that cherry on top of the summer for your entire family.

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4 Ways to Bring Your Family Together

Jennifer Powers - New York City - 4 Ways to Bring Your Family Together

Most families spend an average of 37 quality minutes per day together. Getting more time together doesn’t have to be complicated. Even mundane, everyday tasks can become a fun-filled family affair. Here are four simple ways to bring the family together before summer ends!

 

Invite the Family to Help with Tasks

Chores, cooking, and exercise are things many parents already have on their to-do lists. Why not invite the family to help out? Not only will quality family time increase, but parents can also instill essential values at the same time. Children may not efficiently load the dishwasher or safely use a knife, but side-by-side with a parent, they learn the importance of work and get the attention that nurtures the family relationship.

 

Listen to Each Other

A little bit of conversation can do a lot to enrich family relationships. Asking the right questions and actively listening to answers communicates interest and love. Come up with a question each day to learn more about loved ones. Find common interests to discuss, and find ways to pursue those interests. Allow children to participate in planning family vacations, deciding family values, and setting up family rules. Letting children participate in family matters helps them see different perspectives and get invested in family goals.

 

Turn Off Devices

On average, a smartphone is unlocked about 150 times per day, and nearly half of parents think their child has a smartphone addiction. Limiting device usage is a simple way to create more time for family. Bust out a board game, start a family book club, or go on an adventure. These activities don’t have to cost a dime—not even adventures! A walk around town can turn into an expedition. Children and adults alike unleash creativity and forge strong relationships when they put their devices away.

 

Schedule Family Time

Many families are too busy to get much unstructured time together. Formally scheduling family time helps families keep relationships a top priority. Schedule the same time every week for family time, so everyone gets into the habit. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time to make a difference.

 

Make these trying times a bit easier with a little more family time!

Five Recipes to Cook and Enjoy with Kids

Cooking with kids can be chaotic and messy. Still, it’s rewarding to pour effort into something the whole family can enjoy. Here are five fun meal ideas that both parents and kids will love to make and eat!

Kabobs

Provided that children are old enough not to poke themselves with the sticks, kabobs of any sort are fun to create and cook as necessary. There is no right or wrong way to assemble them, so kids can use their imaginations, and parents can encourage kids to try new foods by combining them on kabobs with beloved mainstays.

Meat kabobs can include a variety of meat and seafood ingredients or just one protein.

Fruit kabobs dipped in yogurt are a healthy, no-cook alternative.

English Muffin Pizzas

English muffin pizzas are super simple to create and a great way to give children more hands-on experience in the kitchen. Sauces, cheeses, meats, and vegetables are the condiments added to customize them. Pop them in the toaster oven for ten minutes, and enjoy some tasty homemade personal pizzas!

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4 Ways to Celebrate the End of the School Year with Your Children

This school year has been tough for many families. Kids and parents alike deserve a reward for all the effort they put into continuing the school year while handling the stress of a global pandemic. Even though socially distancing families cannot invite friends over to celebrate the end of the year, there are many ways families can celebrate their children’s growth and achievements, academic and beyond.

Bake a Cake Together

Kids are never too young to learn to bake. Baking a cake is both educational and celebratory. The process teaches young children the real-world applications math and chemistry, with a delicious reward at the end. During the decorating process, kids can let their creativity shine, and in the end, the whole family can come together to celebrate their achievement.

Take Time to Remember

The end of the school year can be quite nostalgic. It is a chance for parents, teachers, and kids to look back and remember all the fun they had. Kids can embrace their nostalgia while creating a record of their learning by writing down their favorite moments. Children can embrace the learning experience by writing down the exciting things they learned that year. This activity helps them appreciate their time at school while simultaneously reviewing some of the material.

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Find more celebration ideas at JenniferPowers.me.

Advice for Parenting During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has restructured family life across the globe. Children are participating in online education and many parents are working from home. Being uprooted from the familiar routines of everyday life can be disconcerting. Both adults and children have had to adapt. However, parenting during the coronavirus pandemic can go smoother by following the following practical tips.

Talk About What Is Happening

Children can be frightened by what they don’t understand. Explain to them what the virus is, and what measures the nation is taking to deal with it. Be open and listen to their questions. Be honest in your answers, but don’t overwhelm them with a lot of technical jargon. Keep it simple.

Stay In A Routine

A flexible and consistent daily routine will go a long way toward making your children feel stable and secure. Don’t fall into the trap of overachievement. Overplanning the day is as bad as having no direction. Balance the schedule for work and play. Encourage your children to be part of the planning process. They can help work out a schedule for schoolwork and chores. Allow them to pick a fun activity to do such as a board game, crafts, or enjoying a movie night as a family. Part of the daily routine should be exercised. Get outside for fresh air and sunshine as much as possible. Working in exercise each day will help manage stress and your child’s excess energy.

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How to Answer Your Kids’ Tough Questions

Children are curious about the world. Every day they learn something new. Since kids rely on their parents to fill in the blanks and fully answer inquiries, they will ask tough questions out of the blue. A parent should not be afraid or shocked into silence when that moment comes. Instead, they should use the following tips to calmly and effectively answer their children’s questions.

Have your child clarify the question

Children can ask a seemingly-random question because they saw something on the news or overheard something from friends at school or a relative. Before a parent answers a tough question, they should ask the child why they want to know. It’s the simplest way to understand the problem. Sometimes, the child wants a simple yes-or-no answer. Knowing why they ask will help a parent satisfy the child’s curiosity.

Give your child an honest answer

Children are very alert to what’s going on around them. Therefore, the parent shouldn’t act uncomfortable or try to lie to the child. If the parent lies to protect the child, they’re only making matters worse. The child will know the truth sooner or later, and they won’t trust their parents anymore. That child will hide most things because they don’t want the parent to lie to them again. Parents should tell their children the truth, no matter how difficult it can be. They should also limit the answers to a few words because kids take time to understand.

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Suggestions for Planning a Staycation

A staycation is a vacation that does not require travel—every activity can be done from the comfort of your own home! Staycations avoid the stress of transportation and hotels and can be done for relatively cheap. Also, in times of shelter-in-place orders, a staycation can be a solution to the yearning for an escape from monotony. If a vacation is out of the question for you and your family, consider a staycation instead!

Staycation Benefits

Staycations are great for reducing the stress that accompanies ordinary vacations. For one thing, there is no long-distance travel, a vacation necessity that can be difficult with babies and children in tow. The best part of a staycation? No crowds! Transforming your home into a luxury spa or five-star restaurant is a great exercise in creativity for the whole family, and can help your home feel like a completely different place. What better way to stave off cabin fever?

Planning Days of Family Fun

Before the staycation, preparations are necessary. Including all members of the family in this planning helps them to become involved in the whole process, and gets everyone excited for a “home-away-from-home, at-home” experience. The first thing, then, is selecting a schedule that will satisfy the desires of all family members.

Find more fun ideas at JenniferPowers.me!