Phone Tips for Foster Families

Remote work is in high demand, and one of the easiest ways to get into telework is to get a phone job. Phone jobs are readily available over other telecommuting jobs and usually pay well. With high gas costs, COVID closures, and re-openings, having the flexibility and security to work from home is more popular than ever. Having a remote job while being a foster family may be an ideal way to earn income while juggling the demands of services that most foster children need.

Keeping the kids quiet can be difficult when you start working on the phone from home. However, the line between keeping your child quiet and allowing them to be kids is fine. Here are some age-appropriate tips to help you get quiet daily phone time.

Babies in Foster Care:

  1. Keep them busy with soft toys such as fabric dolls and stuffed animals that make little or no noise. You can also use stackable plastic rings or blocks. My baby will spend hours putting the rings and blocks in and out.
  2. Wear your baby in a sling. You will be able to feed her while you work, and she can also take a nap in the sling. Please don't keep the house completely quiet. Let her get used to the sounds of daily life in your house from the day you bring her home. That way, the baby will get used to hearing your voice and can sleep even when you are talking on the phone.
  3. Work during her naps. Try to get her on a good sleeping routine that works for your schedule. Make sure you have a pacifier or favorite toy to soothe her quickly for the times when she wakes up early.
  4. Work while someone else watches the baby. Try getting in a
    few work hours while your partner is home. Ask family or friends if they would be willing to trade their time off for yours to watch the baby a few hours a week. You may also consider trading babysitting services or asking friends if they mind watching your child in exchange for them when needed!

Children in Foster Care:

  1. Create your work schedule around your children's sleep schedule. Split their nap time up into sessions, perhaps morning and early afternoon nap time. Careful not to let them sleep for too long in the afternoon, as this may cause difficulty getting them to sleep at night.
  2. Work early in the morning while your partner is home, or ask a family member if they are willing to watch your kids for a few hours. Search for Mom's groups in your area that may work remotely and see if you can trade babysitting. He will play with other kids, and you get your work done. Arrange playdates where you trade off who watches the kids.
  3. Rotate special games to play. Board or computer, games work well, and you can pick out age-appropriate software. The point is to find something that doesn't make a lot of noise and will keep them busy while you work for a few hours.
  4. Use a noise-canceling quieting headset. If your kids get loud from time to time – and believe me, they will – the headset cancels most of the noise. So it's well worth the small investment. Be sure to invest in a good-quality headset.
  5. Work in short intervals because kids can only be quiet for so long. Take frequent breaks to have a tickle session, take them out to the yard to play catch, and play hide and seek for a few minutes. Let them be kids and burn off that build-up energy.
  6. Teach them to be quiet when you ask them to be quiet. Your son will learn to respect your need for work time. Give him something interesting to do and spend quality time with him when you are off work. Please don't ask him to stay quiet for hours at a time, and this should work. However, be firm and consistent when they get loud while you work.

Remember, kids will be kids. If you have to get off the phone to attend to a child, the world will not come to an end. From time to time, your kids will get loud. Try to keep them quiet, but don't stress yourself out by expecting too much from your kids.

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