Working remotely at home while also watching the kids? It can get a little chaotic and be hard to concentrate on getting work done while having to juggle supporting the kids and giving them attention. To help lessen the stress and to prevent your kids from disappearing into the world of social media, video games and binge-watching for weeks, here are a few technology related resources we recommend introducing into your daily routine. Just to make working from home life with kids a little bit easier and interactive.
Limit screen time for kids by enabling parental controls for different software and devices such as smart TVs, tablets, computers and phones. The steps to do so differ between devices and software but can be found through a simple search engine. This can also prevent children from accessing inappropriate or unsuitable content.
Filter Web Content
There are many apps and services available to filter web content that is not safe or age appropriate and prevent your kids from accessing them on the web. OpenDNS once configured as the DNS server for a network/computer, it can block users from phishing sites, use the FamilyShield option that blocks adult content and even allows customization to block specific sites. Another application available is FamiSafe which allows parents to filter customized content, monitor their child’s device and limit screen time.
Many devices such as Apple and Android smartphones and tablets already come with the application to monitor screen time. Being aware of your kids usage as well as showing them the statistics helps them to understand how to have a good balance between using their devices for educational purposes, entertainment and social media.
Working at home makes the day feel endless along with both your own and your kids’ to do list. Stick to a strict schedule to differentiate between personal family time, homework time and actual work time by utilizing different apps that can send reminders and give a visualization of your day. Stick to a schedule for your children by using these kid-friendly applications such as Bear in Mind that offers To Do lists, reminders and alarms or Focus Keeper Pro which offers a timer to improve productivity. Don’t forget you can also utilize your existing calendars such as Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook to keep track of tasks, send reminders of start times and schedule meetings.
Being home doesn’t mean that your kids can’t get some exercise and have a place to use their energy. Sites like GoNoodle and YouTube channel MovetoLearnMS offer age-appropriate videos to get children up from the couch and move around. You can also take a quick break with them and join in on the fun and exercise.
Now that your kids are not able to meet with their friends regularly at school or extracurricular activities, encourage them to socialize with their friends through videocalls such as FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype or Zoom. Organize this time with other parents or even family members to support children in cultivating healthy relationships and socializing skills.
Even though this uncertain time can be disheartening for both parents and kids who have to stay at home for long periods of time, there are many resources online along with technology that can help keep everyone productive and focused. Don’t forget to also take this opportunity of having endless time with your kids to connect by doing activities together such as exercising, house chores, family mealtimes and having fun.