For parents who find themselves with the difficult task of working from home with kids (and guiding homeschool), creating a Yes Space for kids can help those long days run a little more smoothly.
Shortly after leaving the corporate world to stay home with our two boys, I transitioned into a freelance writing career. My earliest memory of the challenges that come with working from home with small children involves the game my kindergartener called “bowling with apples”.
There are so many different versions of how this quarantine is affecting families, but for parents who find themselves with the difficult task of working full-time while parenting full-time (and guiding homeschool), the best thing you can do is give yourself grace.
Because babies and toddlers so often hear “no no,” or, “don’t touch,” respectful parenting expert Janet Lansbury advises parents to create a Yes Space, or a safe area for little ones to explore and play without your constant intervention.
When my daughter was a toddler, I gave her a cookie sheet tray for play-dough, glitter, or other messy play items,” Dr. Markham shares. “We didn’t have a big house. The playroom was just a shelf of toys in the dining room near the kitchen. She knew to get out one thing at a time, and I would watch her from the kitchen. She would play for long stretches of time, and she knew when she was finished she had to clean up and get mom’s approval.”
Because we all have far fewer outings right now, you may want to set up more than one Yes Space around the house. It can offer you and your child a welcome change of scenery. Think of other areas in your home that can serve as a yes space for particular activities.
Another way to decrease anxiety is to create a calming corner. This is a place your child can go when they need a break. It’s not a punishment or time out, it is simply a comforting place where people in your home go to settle.