Balancing kids and work in quarantine: strategies from CareerBuilder employees

Parents are always superheroes, but during a pandemic, that label has taken on a new meaning. Not only are they working to maintain their family’s livelihood, parents have also now become fulltime teachers, chefs and entertainers. To help you keep your kids engaged and on track, we asked some of our own Chicago-based superhero parents to give us some advice on how to make it all work.

Kristin McDonald, Sr Analyst, HR Operations: 

"I try to keep my son busy during calls by setting him up with activities. This can be anything from drawing to workbooks to yes, movies or shows on his iPad (sometimes a parent must do what they must do!). Sometimes I’m successful at keeping him busy, other times I’m not, but I know others are in a similar boat, so we are all understanding, as well as welcoming!"

Donna Velez Leung, Art Director, Creative Services:

"I’ve found some great activities to help keep my kids engaged. For instance, making a car wash in the bathroom sink for toy cars, and then building cities out of blocks for the newly cleaned cars to drive through. The kids also like to play with kinetic sand and sensory bins while I am working, which has been very helpful. Since we are all inside the house all day, if weather permits, we like to go outside for walks as a family or bike rides during the lunch hour. Finally, screen time isn’t always great but can be a real-life saver sometimes."

Mark Czerniuk, Sr. Manager, Digital Media: 

"We have schoolwork (e-learning, worksheets and educational apps) to do every day, so that helps to get through part of the day. To get through the rest of the day, we have pulled out the Play-Doh, puzzles and coloring books. When the weather cooperates, we try to get them to spend more time outside. We take daily walks, one of my children is learning to ride a bike without training wheels, and we are working on their jump shots. All these things help, but you still have those days when they are just driving you nuts!"

Mary Delaney, President - Software and Services:

"My husband and I went from empty-nesters to a full house, however, my kids are young adults, so I don’t have the challenges that people do who have young kids. Maintaining a schedule for everyone is key. Kids do better with schedules and so do adults! Set expectations on when you are available. Arts and crafts, fun educational activities, games, and exercise are helpful, along with books when they are old enough to read. Science projects and inventions are a lot of fun."

However you might be doing it – screen time, puzzles, or extra snacks – our hats go off to you. Being a parent is always hard, but we feel being a parent during a pandemic might be just a bit harder. Thank you to our CareerBuilder super parents for sharing their insights.

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