Children’s reaction to your working at home will vary greatly, depending on the ages of your children, their personalities, your family lifestyle and how long you have been working at home.
Usually, children are glad to have a parent there more often, but may not understand that you are there to work, not play. To kids, you are mom or dad, and that is it. They likely aren’t familiar with the career side of your life, and will need to learn to relate to you as a professional that happens to be around the house more.
Don’t expect your children to act like grown-ups just because you are working from home. For example, don’t expect them to be quiet. Kids are not quiet, and accepting that fact will get you a long way. Everyone will get along better if you move your office to a quiet part of the house instead of demanding the children be quiet near where you are working.
A good plan is to “child-proof” your office instead of trying to train your children to respect your office. Let your kids be kids, setting up your space and schedule around their needs and schedules. For example, some people work while the kids are in school, and again after they are settled in bed for the night. Others get up early or work late, avoiding noisy times in the house. Some people can work with commotion everywhere. Others need total quiet. Set your office and schedule around your and your family’s needs.
If you have equipment that children can’t touch, don’t allow them to play in your office, as they will begin to think of it as a play area. This can be accomplished with a door to your office that closes (and possibly locks), or with consistent rules that are enforced about staying away from your equipment.
Accept the reality of having children (with all their noise and demands) in the house. Kids will not be quiet or perfect all the time, but you can expect them to behave responsibly and appropriately for their age and developmental level.