How to work from home with children
You child could be sitting there quite happily, playing away, when ring ring there goes the phone. The child looks up , its competitor – the phone has got mum’s attention.
“Yes, I know I was quite happily doing my own things a minute ago but now that you are on the phone, I really need your full attention!”
“Look at me mum, look what I can do, let me tug your leg, let me keep calling you, please don’t give attention to that thing in your hand, look I’m here, I’m much more interesting than the thing you are holding.”
This is the crux, the phone is your child’s competitor, they know your attention is not focused on them and they will do pretty much anything to get you off it.
How to work from home with children involves preparation
Now, I’m not promising immediate miracles that you’ll be able to chat away on the phone for longer than 5 minutes but 5 minutes is better than nothing. The only tips I suggest for a long phonecall is wait until the kids are not home, when they are in bed or make sure there is another adult around to keep an eye on the kids and go into a differnet room and shut the door.
To make a phone call in peace is an acquired learning skill for you and your child & involves preparation.
Role playing with a child and a toy phone, show them what to do. Pretend the phone rings and put your finger to your lips.
Let your toddler hear someone on the phone speak to them, so they understand that you have to focus on listening to the person talking on the other side.
Prepare ahead if you are going to make a phone call, spend time on activity with the child, set them all up and say Mum is going to make a call, you carry on and I’ll be back to help you finish, or can you finish this on your own and surprise mummy. We all know children love to surprise mummy.
Puzzles, threading, a movie, drawing any activity that will keep your child busy for 5 minutes.
Prepare a box, with 1 or 2 activities that the child does when you are on the phone, and it can actually become an exciting novelty for them. With older kids start a competition box, download kids colouring competitions & collect coloring competitions at the shop. When you are on the phone they could be on their way to a winning a prize.
How to work from home with children, takes practice
It does take practice but it can be done preparation is the key and if you get a call and haven’t prepared ask whether they could call you back in a few minutes while you set your child up.
Also show your child that every call doesn’t have to be answered, we never answer the phone at dinner time- that’s our family time -let it go to voicemail or the answering machine.
If you start this early on, you’ll find it quite amazing I can make about a 10 minute call without interruptions from my kids, but only when I say Mummy is going to make a phone call or answer this call. If they don’t realise I’m on the phone, even with them looking directly at me and seeing the phone help against my ear and me talking to the caller. It’s like I’m holding an invisible phone.
When you do get 5 minutes of no interruptions, thank the child and give them now 5 minutes of your time- to them 5 minutes of your time can feel so much longer.
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