When my kids were growing up I had a part time job that gave me a chance to get out of the house and mix with other people. I did have to be organized though as hubby caught the ball when I was running out the door. Dinner or lunch was prepared and the list for the day was on the fridge. After all, I was well known for being prepared for anything and my middle name was “Steady”! 

In today’s world, so many parents work from home, and for some it’s not a choice.  Many of my friends and clients have said to me they struggle to juggle all the daily tasks –  keeping the house in order, feeding and playing with the kids, and all the other things parents have to manage. If you and your partner are both working, make sure you’re sharing the load on household responsibilities and getting what you need to get your work done. 

If you’re homeschooling your teen and tween kids, and are feeling frustrated and arguing a lot because they won’t take responsibility for their own learning, or they seem to constantly have to come to you for support, you’re not alone. 

Some kiddos will willingly take charge of their school work and others won’t. This does not include children with learning disabilities as this would be another Blog post. I’m talking about the ones that really like social interaction and will talk about the subjects they’re studying for hours, or those kids that love to find all those facts for the project they’re doing on their own. 

Then there’s the kids that  like to be in control and if you tell them what to do, will stomp off to their room yelling out, “I know mum, I’ve got that project to finish, don’t worry, I’m on to it!” Or you might have a kiddo that won’t come out of their room, because they love to study at the same time every day and get frustrated with you, if you interrupt their routine. For these styles they love a schedule to follow, as family routines are important to reduce anxiety and improve behavior. 

I think that putting together a flexible master schedule for the week is helpful for all children, especially for school-aged ones. Fill those routines with a variety of activities such as regular meal times, physical and imaginative play, artwork, building, helping with housework, thinking and learning activities, and free time. You can fit chunks of time in your family’s daily schedule for you to do your work, and explain to your child that during these times they get to be a “responsible kid” and occupy themselves with their own activities.

So, as you can see children have different needs depending on their style. And when working from home how you manage to juggle all those balls, will depend on your style as well. Here’s a couple of tips for each of the very different DISC styles. For those of you that haven’t read my past Blogs talking about the four DISC Styles here’s a short overview. 

Overview of the four DISC Primary Styles

DISC is an acronym and stands for the four primary style traits of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. To remember these styles, think of birds – Eagle for Dominance, Parrot for Influence, Dove for Steadiness and Owl for Compliance. 

Each of these traits make up your temperament (personality) in varying degrees. However you tend to have one as your primary style. For example, I’m an Owl in my Primary Style, and I started to shape my personality from the age of about 5yrs as we all do. I’m not going to go into too much more detail but just want to say that each of the four styles have behavioral needs, emotions and fears. And these are what drive the way you interact with your kids and what you struggle with relating to certain situations at home. Here’s a link to take a free DISC Assessment to learn what your DISC styles are: DISC Free Summary Report 

Here’s a birds eye view of the traits, personal strengths and fears for each Bird Style. When you’re reading these you might start to see your Kiddos in a different way now. Also try to remember each Bird’s overview, as it will help you to communicate more effectively with each style:

Eagle Styles like to focus on TASKS and are FAST PACED

  • Are naturally competitive, results orientated, innovative and direct. 
  • Great at solving problems – a strength of this style. 
  • They fear loss of control and under stress may become dictatorial. 

TIP: Eagle Styles would benefit from practicing patience by calmly tolerating a delay or confusion, and by accepting things they cannot control with humor and grace. And those of you who identify with the Eagles remember that tolerance is respecting the opinions of others when they are different from yours. 

Parrot Styles like to focus on PEOPLE and are also FAST PACED

  • Are naturally confident, trusting, optimistic and sociable.
  • Can motivate others by their enthusiasm – a strength of this style. 
  • They fear being rejected and socially disapproved of and under stress will become superficial and sarcastic.  

TIP: Parrot Styles would benefit from practicing self-discipline by not being so overly emotional and by not having to seek approval all the time. If you think you are a Parrot, use detachment so that your emotions won’t control you. Start creating routines for yourself and keep the agreements you make with others in your family. 

Dove Styles also like to focus on PEOPLE and are SLOW PACED

  • Are naturally understanding, friendly, patient and team players.
  • Known for being supporters and good listeners – both strengths of this style.
  • They fear sudden change and under stress will become submissive and indecisive. 

TIP: Dove Styles would benefit from practicing assertiveness when pressured by sharing their own ideas and feelings and by tactfully asking for what they want. If you think you’re a Dove and need support, ask for it, because us Doves tend to take on steadying everything in our family – taking responsibility for doing it all!  

Owl Styles like to focus on TASKS and are also SLOW PACED

  • Are naturally detailed, courteous, fact finders and compliant.
  • Like to organize and plan when it comes to the details of a task – strengths of this style. 
  • They fear being wrong and can become too critical and impersonal. They are their own worst inner critic and need to worry less about everything. 

TIP: Owl Styles would benefit from practicing trust by having the confidence that the right thing will come about without worrying and trusting in their own abilities – knowing they are perfect just the way they are. If you think you’re an Owl, learn to open up and share your feelings more. Find the joy in life and let that joy be felt by your family. You know those moments where you tell a joke with your kids, or pull a funny face at the dinner table, just because you can! 

So, as you can see we all have strengths and fears that make us who we are. At the end of the day it takes commitment to change our behavior for shifting what we are struggling with when working from home. 

Remember, also, what a privilege it is in these rough times to have a job, to be able to work from home, and to have the family you’re trying to balance with all this responsibility.  Here’s an affirmation I’d like to leave you with “I GOT THIS!!” Oh, and come on over and join our Facebook Parent Group for support from myself and other parents.