A battle of priorities. Working from home with children.

A number of parents I know are currently working full time from home whilst looking after their children.

 

Their professional full time jobs are demanding more from them than usual as businesses adapt to the ongoing situation.

 

Parents are fighting daily with priorities for their children’s wellbeing, education and their businesses needs.

 

Many companies claim to understand the pressures on parents and state that employees can divide their time as they see fit. However, they then phone workers demanding deadlines are met and meetings attended. 

 

Parents are struggling to get to grips with educational material sent home from schools and children who are confused and sometimes unwilling to participate. 

 

A parent recently said that the last three weeks had been the trickiest and most stressful of her adult life. Herself and her husband are working full time, with two primary age children, in a house where escape and quiet are not possible. 

She is leading conference calls with her director from the bottom bunk of her children’s bedroom, whilst her partner leads a similar call from the second bedroom and her children have the run of the lounge.  

 

Unfortunately I am not here to offer a solution, I am not sure what the answer is, other than the  organising of priorities. 

 

And I don’t mean parents organising priorities,  all these elements are top priority for them. 

 

I mean priorities for businesses.

 

  • Can and should businesses change the way they currently work?

 

  • Can there be more flexibility?

 

  • Do all projects need attending to right now?

 

  • Are calls and video conferencing necessary in every instance?

 

  • Could current work have more realistic deadlines that can be met around the needs of families?

 

I imagine there are businesses out there already doing this. 

For you how is it going? 

Have you shared best practise with other businesses?

 

I also wonder if school’s could help.

 

The schools I know of are not currently sending out recorded lessons. Could this be done? 

 

  • Could more teachers record themselves teaching and send these to their classes? 

 

  • Could this allow some children more independence in their school work?

 

I myself am currently sending out packs to 15 of my minded children. 

 

These packs are weekly and include a maths, english, science, PE and art activities. I also send a video detailing each challenge and asking that children work independently where possible.

 

The parents have said these packs have been really helpful in fostering independent learning and allowing openings of time for themselves.

 

Could something similar work for more schools?

 

I imagine there are schools out there already doing this. 

How is this going for you? 

Have you been able to share what works?

 

There are no easy answers for any of these issues, but I feel as this lockdown continues we need to look more closely at easing the burden on working parents. 

 

We need to ensure parents can continue working, can continue caring for their families and can continue to look after themselves. If we do not we may find ourselves in a worse position with businesses losing key staff and children losing out on support when they need it. 

 

What are your thoughts?

 

 

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