How to cope when school closures keep kids at home

Busy family at home

Christine Carter, a UC Berkeley parenting expert, gives advice on how to carve up space in the household and organize schedules so that everyone can get their work done with minimum interruption. (Photo via iStock)

A legitimate abundance of coronavirus caution has sent tens of millions of schoolchildren home for the foreseeable future, leaving families scrambling to navigate daily life without the help of an established routine.

So, how to cope with household cabin fever that could last weeks, and even months?

In a timely article, Christine Carter, a parenting expert and senior fellow at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, offers poignant insights and helpful tips on how families can survive long days together in close quarters, get work done and, in the process, strengthen bonds and have fun.

“Clearly, we need to get set up a little better now, rather than waiting until we know how long this is going to last (it could be awhile) or until we are all at our wits’ end (possibly tomorrow),” writes Carter, a mom and stepmom to four teenagers — three girls and a boy — and author of The New Adolescence: Raising Happy and Successful Teens in an Age of Anxiety and Distraction.

Among other things, Carter, a sociologist and sought-after keynote speaker, discusses how to carve up space in the household and organize schedules so that everyone can get their work done with minimum interruption.

She also calls on parents to embrace the downtime and show affection. While it’s important to maintain social distancing outside the home, she explains, it’s nearly impossible to do so within one’s nest. Plus, kids need a comforting touch, especially when times are scary and uncertain.

How school closures can strengthen your family