CNN Parenting

Creating an effective family routine when homebound for coronavirus

Go Ask Your Dad is parenting advice with a philosophical bent as one dad explores what we want out of life, for ourselves and our children, through useful paradigms and best practices.

(CNN)When the official word finally came that they closed our kids' schools "indefinitely" -- my new least favorite word -- my wife and I had the same thought: We need a schedule!

The answer to chaos is routine, right? We can't have the kids sitting around in their pajamas, eating cereal, watching cartoons and bickering all day, like a Disney remake of "Lord of the Flies."
We called a family meeting that very evening. And we were reassuring and honest as we talked about what we each of us needed to manage this challenge together. And the keystone to all of that, we thought, was a schedule.
    My wife took notes, wrote it up, and we put it on our refrigerator. This was the schedule that would avoid hurdling us in a no-work-and-all-play "Shining"-like direction.
    Everyone on Earth seems to have had the same notion.
    Because we need order. We need to know what to do with ourselves with all this new unstructured time, even if it's mainly kids while parents work from home. We need a way to constructively fill the many, many hours we will now be with our children ... indefinitely.
    Parenting through the coronavirus lockdown