I’ve worked from home since my daughter was a baby and 99% of the time it works well. When her dad is there to take care of her I shut the door to the spare room in our small flat and I am rarely disturbed.
How do I do it? It’s not just about the giggles. When she was younger I spent many hours slowly edging out of the door, staylistening to her feelings about me leaving the room for any tiny reason such as going to the toilet, or having a shower. I used each of the five Hand in Hand Parenting tools to help with separation anxiety so that I could help her release feelings so that she could feel confident, safe and happy without me.
When we give our children time to express feelings about us leaving, they can think more clearly, feeling safe, and confident in the presence of other caregivers, knowing that we will return. They can also even from a young age, understand and respect when we need to be left alone to work.
As well as this listening to big feelings, Giggle Parenting comes in handy for releasing lighter feelings of disconnection that can get in the way of your child respecting your work.
This morning when I started work, my daughter started singing outside the door loudly. Our children are smart. When they need attention, they will seek it. When they are in this attention-seeking mode, our tendency may be to try rationalising and reasoning with them, to explain that we need to work, and that it’s important. But deep down our child probably knows that already, it’s just that their need for attention is also important.
So, I opened the door and I decided to pretend to be annoyed. In an exaggerated tone of voice, I said, ”excuse me, I am doing VERY important work in here, NO singing by the door!” I made sure that she understood, that I was being playful and wasn’t really annoyed, and I chased her away as she laughed. After a few minutes of play, she said, ”I’m off to do my important work now,” and she was gone.
So if you find yourself trying to work from home and being distracted by giggles, songs, or whines by the door, then find your inner playfully annoyed parent, and chase them away. Exaggerate your frustration, throw your arms up in despair and pretend that you are helpless to prevent these constant interruptions by your child. Repeat as long as they want to play, and then you can get on with your work.
This playfully annoyed parent is perfect for all sorts of situations that test our patience and having this Giggle Parenting tool at the ready can help us to channel our own frustration while building connection with our child.
Do you need more help with dealing with separation anxiety? Check out Hand in Hand Parenting’s online self study course; Healing the Hurt Of Separation You can also read more about dealing with separation anxiety in my book Tears Heal.