DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions
Ah, children. No school, no training, no piano, English, karate, sculpturing and other activities. Only you and them. All day long, which would not be a problem under normal circumstances. But in these, extraordinary circumstances, we still need to be professional and do our job as best as we can. We understand why we stay at home, they do not really understand it. How to reconcile all these tasks and perform each one of them achieving satisfactory results? How to hold an important meeting while the dog is crying with happiness because you stayed at home and thinks it is an ideal opportunity for walking and bonding, how to check your child’s virtual homework and cook lunch for him, write that important mail, stretch your legs so that there is no pain in the back, complete the financial package while something little is hanging around your feet under the table, come up with the ideal slogan while your husband is at a conference call and your daughter is learning cases?
No one said it would be easy. Likewise, no one says it is impossible. Here, we first would not say. It’s all a matter of organization.
Dickens would describe it best: Those were the best imes, those were the worst times. In order to be just the best times in most cases, we consulted a child psychologist Gordana Mijalkovic, who shared few golden rules with us, and explained to us how children feel in such a complex situations and, to express ourselves by using our vocabulary, how parents can cope with crisis PR mode.
Gordana says that in a situation of high tension and of change in daily routines, children need help of parents to organize their time and overcome any anxiety they may experience due to the environment and the many limitations and dangers involved:
- Children need to be the priority in order for parents to accommodate work and family responsibilities – it is important first and foremost that you pay attention to them, that you cuddle them, and talk to them about how they feel and what they think.
- At the beginning of the day start planning activities for and with them. If both parents are at home, let one take the children while the other works. If there is only one parent with children, it is necessary to better structure their time. If you ignore them or push them away, your computers will become their enemies. Take a bit more time to prepare and introduce your children to a new rhythm, so they will also be able to adapt to new conditions more easily.
- It’s a good idea to look at a school program or a cartoon together, agree on what you could do together today, and what games, books, and movies they could use on their own.
- Each day prepare 3-4 toys for smaller children and do not let them always have access to all the toys, as it will lose the effect of being interesting. Look online for ideas for a variety of shorter games, and with kids from 5, 6 to 10, or 11 years of age, introduce designing or creating of their own, new games. If you help them make it look good and function, that game will divert the child’s attention for a bit more time in the coming period.
- Younger children are often able to insist on something that cannot be done – keep in mind that to get something from them, you must first offer them something else. Explain to them that you will make your own playrooms (play corners) in the house, that they can draw what they would like their ideal park to look like, or design special schools in space or for them in the future. Trigger their imagination.
- Different ages will require different interactions. Toddlers up to school age will be looking for a more intense parental presence. Plan shorter work intervals with them, with more frequent monitoring of their activities. For example, their drawings or games take 5-15 minutes, so adjust your work accordingly. Don’t expect them to care about your business and do not get angry at them for asking questions. Staying at home is not their choice.
- Delegate to older children some homework that was out of the ordinary – dusting, hanging up laundry for drying and collecting it, sorting of socks… Give them tasks they can perform and that will keep their attention.
- However, it is even more important that parents change their attitude towards their business – lower your expectations, you cannot be one hundred percent effective, 50-60% is already great. Your concentration will not be as high and don’t start big or difficult tasks, for now do the simplest and most necessary tasks if the nature of the job allows it, until you get used to the current environment. Plan on having 3-5 intervals to do the job, and more intervals in-between.
- As children aspire to be in the same room with parents, make their corner in that room. Prepare a few first-aid toys next to you when they get ˝bored˝. Another suggestion is to include some occupation in the plans for the daily schedules – one day it will be a painter, another day sculptor, a third day artisan, a fourth day baker , etc. Go for shorter plans, for 3-4 days.
- The strategy is: day by day. Try to recognize the time you’ve been given, not just the lack of time.
Once you get used to working from home, you will realize that it takes a little to fully concentrate and that you are more productive, let alone how fit you are every morning at 9:00. However, know that this feeling will not last forever. Our work is dynamic and requires communication with other people. There will come a time when you will miss the murmur from the office, the race against deadlines, nervousness before in-person meeting with clients … Because that’s marketing. And that’s us. That’s why, let’s be responsible, stay home – to get back to our favorite colleagues as soon as possible, to our favorite cup and, of course, to our favorite clients. Because it depends on us.