It’s finally summer, the moment we’ve been expecting the whole year. Long days, warm weather, weekends with barbecue and pool parties. Maybe even a short vacation, to relax and recharge. It’s the best time to have fun and enjoy life, at least for some of us. Working from home parents are in a different picture. Those who have kids at home already know that the summer doesn’t always come as a break.
This article is meant to address their specific issues and land a (virtual) helping hand because we know that achieving a work-life balance while working from home is not easy.
Tips for working from home parents to enjoy summer
For working from home parents things can become quite challenging, especially during the summer break. Probably you can’t wait for the moment when you see that yellow bus in front of your house again.
Until then, you have to be creative and find a way to keep the little ones busy so you can get your work done. Here are some ideas of how you can do that.
Send them to camp
Camps are just like school, but better! They keep your kid during the evening and even nights, for days or weeks in a row 🙂 So if you have school-age children, get online and search for some cool camps suitable for your offspring.
The little ones can have fun, learn cool stuff and enjoy their summer without much effort on your part. All that while you get to work in peace and have all that extra time for yourself! It really can’t get any better!
Send them off to grandparents
Where I come from, most people have amazing memories from the summers spent with their grandparents. Besides spending some quality time with their grandparents, kids get to experience some of the ways and places where you grew up.
It’s an experience that can bring you closer and teach them the importance of family. And yet again – all that free time for yourself!
Encouraging your kids to have a hobby is a really good idea. Not only will it keep them busy, but they will be doing something they actually enjoy.
Teach them how to follow online tutorials that will develop their creativity and help them turn their hobby into something that makes them proud. They will spend hours on it, while you get some peace of mind.
Teach them responsibility
Summer break is a great period for an exercise of independence. Ask the little ones to choose 3 ways in which they can help around the house. Being their idea makes it less likely for them to back off 😉
For example, have them make their own lunch sandwich, clean up their room, or sweep the yard. This takes things off your plate while keeping them busy, so it’s a double-win for you!
Take advantage of technology
Allow your kids to use electronics only during work hours. You know how it works: have it seem inaccessible and they will want it more! If the only times they can get their hands on the tablet is while you are working, they probably won’t spare a moment to bother you.
Give in to gaming
Some parents don’t approve of video games, but some games can be quite educational. There’s nothing out there that can keep a child more interested than video games. Get them a Play Station or a Nintendo Switch and you will forget you even have children for a few good hours.
Keep this under control and make a clear daily schedule, eventually by linking it with some house chores. It will work wonders.
Nowadays kids rarely play outside. Even before COVID, kids spent about 40% less time outdoors compared to 20 years ago. Playing outside not only improves children’s physical health but also helps them on an emotional level. Kids experience stress, especially during the lockdown, when the outside world turned into a dangerous place.
Encourage them to play in the yard, visit friends, or have friends over. If you only have one child, the company of other children can be extremely beneficial. During childhood, children develop social skills through play, and interacting with their peers is critical.
Maybe kids shouldn’t do book reports over the summer unless it’s homework. However, reading is part of any child’s education. These days kids read less than ever before, even though the benefits of reading cannot be argued. Studies show that students who read at least 15 minutes per day will read faster and comprehend better than their peers. Just 6 extra minutes of reading can turn a struggling student into an above-average one. Besides, 62% of children say that they actually enjoy reading books during the summer break.
Include at least one hour of reading in your children’s schedule to keep them occupied and stimulate their intellect.
Arrange a schedule
All kids should have a schedule, just like grownups do. Routine is very important for kids, it provides a sense of stability and teaches them responsibility. Sit together at the end of the week and organize their days for the following days.
Time flies by when they are busy and, most importantly, keeps them from interrupting your work. One hour of reading, one hour of exercising or playing outside, two hours watching a movie, two hours PC/gaming, two hours practicing their hobby and that’s it. It’s dinner time and everyone is happy 🙂
Hire virtual babysitters
Virtual babysitting is a trend that took off during the pandemic. The name is self-explanatory: you can hire people to watch your kids through the webcam, on the internet. While they can’t make dinner or put your child to bed, virtual babysitters can do a good job keeping them busy and entertained.
If your little one is a people person who loves to talk and interact with other people, you should really consider this option.
Happy and smart
The ideas you read above are meant for working from home parents, but can be applied successfully by any parent during the summer break. This way, you’ll keep your kids busy and also enable them to develop into well-rounded individuals.
Make sure your kids have a diversified schedule that stimulates their body and mind, while also having fun. Because ultimately this is what summer is all about. Enjoy!