If you have little ones at home who love to be close to you – even when you’re working on a dozen things at once! – you can make it all work out. Why not let the kids help you with your work at home business? There are many things little hands can do to help keep them occupied and get some extra work done, all at the same time!
Let them clean. Keeping your desk and the surrounding area nice and neat can be the job of the children. Give them rags, non-toxic cleaners and the tools they need to clean the workspace. You can even pay the littlest ones a quarter for their labor. It will make them feel as though they have done something to contribute to the work that mommy does.
Open up the Filing Cabinet. For those kids who are just learning to read, letting them file things away in your cabinet is a great way to clean up your desk and give your child some added educational instruction at the same time. Ask your child to alphabetize everything, then file it away in the clearly marked sections of the filing cabinet. Be patient the first few times – it won’t take long before your little one is filing like a professional.
Tally Up the Supplies. Give your child a list of office supplies, along with a number of how many you need of each. Then let the kids do your inventory! They can sort through your supplies, count out what you have, and subtract that from the number you need. You then have your shopping list, and your kids have the added thrill of helping you pick out the supplies. You can even let them put it all away when you get home after you’ve been busy finding a good school for your kids.
Teach Good Phone Skills. Several of my long-term clients have children of their own, so they understand the pressures of working with kids underfoot. Teach your children to answer the phone in a polite and courteous manner, and when those long-term clients call, let your child answer the phone. As a reward, consider taking your kids to a museum!
Depending on the kind of office you run, this might not work – but if you have clients who always ask you about your children, hearing those little voices is a good start to the conversation. Besides adding that personal touch, it teaches your kids how to answer a phone properly. Also when it rains, keep’m busy and make’m happy.
Give Them Job Titles – and Responsibilities! If your children are old enough to help with the business, let them do it. Give them a job title, a set amount of money per week in exchange for helping, and give them a schedule of sorts. Teaching them these skills today will aid them in the future when a paying job beckons. Read also this post on Useless Parental Advice.