Every parent on planet earth has run into the same conundrum at some point. You’re at home with your little one, and you’ve been keeping them entertained for a few hours. Unfortunately, you’ve realized it’s time to do some work. Perhaps the dinner needs preparing, or maybe you’ve got some work to do on the computer. It doesn’t really matter what your work is, what matters is that you’re now in a position where you can’t devote all your attention to your child.
This is problematic because, if your child isn’t left with anything to occupy their attention, then they’ll look for things to do. Any parent can tell you that this normally means they get themselves in dangerous situations. They start exploring the home and pulling on drawers or opening cupboards, etc. If you’re not careful, they can hurt themselves pretty bad.
The only way to stop this from happening is by keeping them occupied with things that won’t harm them! Struggling for ideas? Here are some to consider:
Let Them Watch Netflix
Before I go into this, let me stress that other streaming providers are available, but Netflix is probably the best from a parents perspective. It’s got a section that you can go on and it will only show kid’s TV shows/movies. So, there’s no worry that your child accidentally clicks on a movie with loads of violence and naughty scenes! I find this is a useful way of occupying them as it normally calms your child down and they sit in peace watching their favorite shows.
My central piece of advice here is to make sure your internet connection is actually good enough to stream things on. Otherwise, your child will be hit with a buffering signal that infuriates them and causes them to interrupt you every five seconds. You can easily check your internet connection, and if it’s too slow, then maybe consider looking at other internet service options to find a faster provider. In fact, I’ll link a video below to show you how to check your internet speed and see if it’s good or not. Trust me, it will be beneficial in the long run if your child can watch Netflix uninterrupted as you do some work.
For me, this is a good option when you only have an hour or so of work to do. This ensures your child remains occupied but isn’t stuck in front of a screen for too long. It’s a good balance, so think about it from time to time.
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Give Them A Puzzle
One of the best things about young children is that they’re young enough to not entirely be taken over by technology. As such, they still enjoy traditional toys and games, like a good old-fashioned puzzle! Personally, this is my favorite way of occupying my child as it keeps them quiet and lets them focus on something for a fair bit of time. Children love the problem-solving element of puzzles, and you can help develop this skill too.
Believe it or not, but there is such thing as a good puzzle for a child. It sounds strange, but you need to give them one that’s not too hard, but not overly easy. A really challenging puzzle will cause frustration, which usually leads to a temper tantrum. A really easy one will be completed in minutes, meaning you need to find something else to keep them occupied. But, the perfect puzzle is challenging enough to make them think, but not too hard that they take months to complete it.
The good thing about puzzles is that they can be completed over a few days, so it gives you something to call upon until it’s finished. Then, you can just get another one afterward and give it to your child. They get a real sense of accomplishment from completing a puzzle, which is absolutely brilliant to see. Seriously, it’s rewarding as a parent to hear your child call out your name in joy as they show you the finished puzzle. You fill with pride twice over; once because your child did something challenging and succeeded. Twice, because you’re proud of your genius parenting skills!
Enlist Their Help
Yep, that’s right, you can keep your child occupied by actually calling upon them to help you with your work. It sounds like it won’t work, but it can in different scenarios. For example, if you’re making dinner, then you can get them involved. Buy them a cute apron, and get them to wash the veg or mix things in a bowel, and so on. I think this is good because you teach them a bit about cooking, but you also increase the chances of them actually eating their food. Kids will most likely eat a meal if they’ve had a hand in making it; so that’s a bonus for you!
Again, if you’re doing housework, then you can get them involved again. Try and turn things into games, so they’re more inclined to help. For example, turn to tidy up into a scavenger hunt of sorts. You could get them to try and find a certain as many toys as possible and bring them to you. They’ll be roaming around the house picking up all their toys without even knowing that they’re tidying up for you!
You see, it’s not such a weird idea after all. When you think about it, there are loads of ways you can enlist the help of your child when working around the home. Obviously, in instances when you’re doing computer work or actual work for your job, then they can’t help. But, that’s why I’ve given two other options as well!
Let’s face it, being a parent is all about juggling your different responsibilities. As much as you’d like to spend time with your child, sometimes you have other things to do. When you’re the only other person in the house, then you have to think outside the box to keep your child occupied while you’re hard at work. There are three ideas here, and they all work well in various situations. So, next time your child needs to be occupied, try one of the things suggested above!
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