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Ways to Keep Kids Away from your Home Office

written by: Ricky•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 6/28/2011

You want to work at home, but the little ones keep interruping your duties. Find out how to keep the kids occupied while you work.

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    Science and technology have changed the way we work. Previously, work often consisted of a typical office environment. You got there around 9 a.m. and left around 5 or 6 p.m., and there weren't any kids. As networking technologies have made it possible to work and earn an income from home though, kids suddenly become an issue. 

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    The Tips

    Kids are playful by nature. Unless they have something to keep them occupied, they will not allow you to work undisturbed. The following tips that may make it a bit easier:

    • Try to create your home office in a place that is separate from the other areas of the home. You want to be away from where other members of the family venture often. Every house has a different architecture, size and space, but try to find a place that is “out of the way” and peaceful.
    • Try to work during their scheduled homework time, and work in a different room. Tell them to report when finished by knocking at your door.
    • Try to adjust your routine according to the routine of your kids. If you assign chores to your children, you should be able to work when they do. For example if they go to school till afternoon, just leave other jobs pending while you do your work when they are away. You can finish household chores later on when they are around.
    • Devise activities which would interest your kids and keep them occupied for a couple of hours at a time.
      • If a child is young, you may need to get a baby sitter so that your child is not left unattended during your work hours.
      • For ages 7 to 10, I suggest some good books (depends on your childs likes and dislikes), some educational toys like Lego blocks. You could also tell them to learn a mathematical table by heart and you could promise a pizza or candy as a gift upon successful completion of the task
      • for preteens I suggest you give them some good video games and educational material although do keep an eye on the quality and quantity of such games as they can turn addictive sometimes. Here is an article by the same author which tells you about children and video games. They can also play games such as scrabble which would increase their knowledge as well apart from keeping them occupied in a productive manner.
      • for teenagers I think they are quite grown up to be a real problem for you, so better try to make them understand about your work responsibilities. If they are also doing some part time work they will surely realize the value of money better and will be more cooperative towards your work. You should treat them as friends and win over their confidence and trust. If they also have a younger sibling you could also teach them responsibility by telling them to take care of the siblings, while you can work in the meantime

    Just keep in mind while reading the above tips that they are general in nature. Kids are unique and every child has his or her own sets of likes, dislikes, needs and requirements. Parents normally are the best judge for what is exactly required and you only need to apply your mind and you will certainly be filled with great ideas about home-office-kid-management exercise. Last but not least, if you start to feel frustrated, remember how much more difficult it would have been if you had to go to the office. At home at least you can manage your work in chunks if not in one go. It always pays to be patient.