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Controlling Spill over from work to home

Jinny Hopp, Human Development Specialist, Jasper County, University of Missouri Extension


When working parents are tired and over stressed from work the spill over can influence their interactions with their family. Children are very sensitive to their parents’ moods. Children know when we are upset. They do not understand why and will often assume that they are the problem. Here are some tips to leave the stress at work and avoid spill over.

Decide what is reasonable for your work. Prioritize your work, if you have a demanding supervisor have them help you prioritize your work so that your load is manageable. Be realistic about what you can accomplish at work. Before the end of your work day spend a few minutes clearing away unfinished business and determine where you need to begin your next work day. Leave work at work. Do not take it home mentally or physically. If you work at home, designate an area as your work area and leave work there.

Make a transition for yourself from work to home. Use the time to mentally change gears. If music is relaxing play some that you enjoy. Do any errands or chores BEFORE you pick up the children. If your children are in a child care which stays open later than your work this may be the time of day you spend a few minutes alone to recharge your batteries.

Create a “hello” ritual with your children. Young children will enjoy a hug and kiss. Tell about a happy event from your day. Focus on the kids. They need your support for a successful transition from child care to home.

Your attitude makes a world of difference for your children. They need your reassurance that you are happy to be their parent. No body can take the place of “MY Mom” or “MY Dad”. Our children are counting on us to show them in a thousand small ways what it takes to be a happy and healthy human being.

When you arrive home have a routine. Perhaps everyone changes into play clothes. Share a healthy snack. A light snack will not spoil dinner but it will let you prepare a meal without everyone hanging on to you in the kitchen. Children might enjoy some quite time while you prepare dinner or your family might be energized by sharing an outdoor activity before you gather in for the evening meal.


For more Information about Balancing work and family visit
Or see MU publication GH6653 - Challenges and Choices: Time Effectiveness — Prioritizing Your Time.



Last Updated 05/05/2009









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