Today’s focus skill is helping to figure out the difference between adult jobs and child jobs at home. With the current situation, all of us have had to adjust to many new roles and duties. Many adults are now responsible for taking on a “teacher” role or a “working from home” role, while children are adjusting to being “students at home”. The important part is that as a family, we are all part of the same team. Everyone on the team may have different jobs, but we all work together.
Kids’ jobs include taking care of themselves (following rules, completing schoolwork, picking up belongings etc.). Adults’ jobs include taking care of all family members (helping everyone stay safe, be healthy, and make good choices). Kids can help by letting adults make decisions. Use the visual below with your child to help brainstorm different jobs at home and who is responsible.
Suggestions for using this skill:
● Be patient with yourself and your child. Everyone is adjusting to these new roles and responsibilities and it can be confusing.
● Praise your child when they are able to let an adult handle a situation at home. Remind your child that they are being caring and helpful members of the team by letting adults handle certain things.
● Provide positive reinforcement when children are able to fulfil their roles and responsibilities (chores, schoolwork, etc.). Sometimes it can be hard to do our jobs! Ask your child if they used any strategies to help them get through the tough jobs (think of rewards, take a short break and return to the task, positive thought, deep breathing, etc.). Try to recognize not only the completion of the job, but being able to get through the tough job by using coping skills.
● Adults may give kids reminders by stating “adult job” if kids are overly correcting others. As we are all at home, there may be an increase in siblings “parenting” others to cope with frustrations with one another and in an attempt to gain control of the situation. Remind your child that you will take care of it and they can be still be helpful by focusing on themselves and setting a good example for others at home.
As much as we can appreciate the time we are getting with our immediate family members, it is important to also acknowledge that we aren’t used to spending this much time together! Flexibility and patience with one another is so important right now as we figure out our new roles. We are definitely getting plenty of time to practice getting better at this skill.
Marissa Lloyd, LPCMH