In Our Presence and Productivity Method we review 4 nuclear areas that you need to set up boundaries in order to maintain balance during this working from home season.
1. Boundaries with Kids
2. Boundaries with Partner
3. Boundaries with Employer/Co Workers
4. Boundaries with Yourself
In general, kids thrive with consistent routine and boundaries. We want to consider routine, both in terms of:
1. time - i.e., the order of activities in a day
2. script - i.e., the words we consistently use to signal a transition or need.
For very young children ages 2.5 - 5 scripting the day and the transition are key.
Every morning sit down with your child and tell them what is happening that day. Emphasize your together time. Refer back to this conversation during transition times. The younger the child, the fewer words you want in your script. While this is not always possible, the younger the child, the easier transitions will be if yours days are consistently organized the in the same order of activities.
Scripting the day:
Let's talk about what we are going to do today! This morning we are going to have mommy and ________ time and we are going to do ____________. After mommy and __________ time, you get to _______________ (insert entertainment activity - i.e., watch a movie, play with caretaker, do some lessons on the tablet while mommy works). When mommy is done with her morning work time, we will have lunch....
Scripting the transition:
Remember this morning when we talked about our day? Now it is time for you to ___________ and for mommy to do some work. I love you and we will do ______ together as soon as I am done.
If you have a family member or childcare helper coming in to spend time with your child and your child is having a hard time separating from you, your script should include acknowledging and naming your child's hard feeling.
One of our favorite transition speeches for this scenario is from Lizzie Assa, MsED (@theworkspaceforchildren). Her four year old daughter was having strong feeling about Lizzie's work time so Lizzie tells her this during the transition:
"It feels different when I am not with you. You wish I would play here with you and never do my work without you. I also know that Daddy and Evie (our babysitter) know how to take care of you. They know how to have fun with you and keep you safe. You are so important to me. My job is so important to me. Sometimes I stay with you and sometimes I go to work. I ALWAYS LOVE YOU.”
Tell your child what you are going to do:
For how long:
What they will do while you are working :
End with words of affection:
Now, put it all together: On a piece of paper
If your child is having a hard time add in the following:
Our upcoming Presence and Productivity Method, walks us through how boundaries affect us. We:
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