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Establish Work-at-Home Ground Rules With Kids
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Of course before I retreat to the office I line up coloring books, worksheets or
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Establish Work-at-Home Ground Rules With Kids
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Hi, I'm Kathy Moore for About.com. Working from home can be especially challenging if you have children around. This program will guide work at home moms in setting appropriate boundaries for children.

One of the greatest advantages of working from home is the flexibility it allows in caring for children. However, too much flexibility can interfere with your ability to get any work done. So the first thing to do is establish a work at home schedule. Once you get into a regular work pattern, the kids will become used to it and adapt their behavior to your schedule.
Create a Family Work Schedule

It may help to post a family schedule so everyone in the house knows when you need to concentrate on work and when you will just be Mom.
Establish Workspace Boundaries

Physical separation is perhaps the most effective way to establish boundaries for children while you work at home. Having a designated office or workspace with a door that you can close, makes it easier for kids to understand when you are working and when you are available for them.
Set Work-at-Home Rules

Of course the ages of your children will determine how well they are likely to understand and follow any ground rules you establish but it is important that you have realistic expectations for your kids' behavior. Then be clear and consistent with whatever rules you set-up.

My kids know that when my office door is closed that means they should stay out unless it is an emergency. Of course before I retreat to the office I line up coloring books, worksheets or craft projects to keep the kids busy.

It is also important that the kids be quiet and patient when I am on the phone. They also know that everything in my office is off limits – always.

Since my son is very interested in my laptop I re-purposed my old computer with educational games so he can “go to work” too.
Call in Help When Needed

If I am working on a deadline, I plan ahead and arrange for a sitter so I can devote all my attention to the task at hand.
Plan Productivity Around Kid Downtime

I know I can be most productive when the kids are napping so I plan my daily activities accordingly. I save tasks that require uninterrupted concentration for times when the kids are napping or after they have gone to bed for the night.

It will take some trial and error to find the right balance for you. But once you have some ground rules established it will help you do your best work in the office and as a mom. Thanks for watching. To learn more visit us on the Web at About.com
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