Using Work Strategies at Home

Austin's Premier after school programWe may joke that working with our coworkers is like working with children. But did you know that you can apply some of the same strategies to get things done at work and at home?

Foster teamwork – Let your children contribute ideas just as you encourage input at work meetings. Children tend to try harder to reach goals they’ve helped establish.

Communicate to be heard and understood – Keep requests and instructions short and specific. Talking slowly, calmly and softly means others must listen closely to hear. And of course, what would communication be if we forgot to listen? Be sure everyone gets to speak and be heard.

Routines and structure manage expectations and focus –  Think about your own workplace: Everyone has a space to call their own, tasks to do and deadlines to meet. Give your children places to stow things and quiet spots to do their homework. They’ll feel empowered and know what is expected of them. Routines, like the expectations of homework before dinner and a special treat after a good week, similarly encourage their cooperation.

Use a family calendar – Keep track of everyone’s schedule using a Google calendar or a paper or chalkboard version … whatever tool works best for your family.

Give everyone a job to do.  Choose tasks for your children that will make them feel confident while helping them learn new skills. Make sure everyone knows when their work should be done and give them plenty of time to complete their work.

Rewards and praise – Thank your children when they do a good job or have put forth an honest effort. Critique their work by mentioning the positives before gently giving tips to fix any shortcomings. If you choose to offer rewards, consider gifts of your time. (Think of that favorite activity that you sometimes don’t have time for, like a tea party.) Other age-appropriate rewards may be money, stickers or privileges.


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