We’re heading into the third week of kids being at home with their families. Getting on each other’s nerves yet?


The dishes might be piling up while the kids are sitting in front of the TV or devices. And the choruses of "I’m bored!" are ever-present while Mom and Dad are trying to figure out how to keep this family running while trying to work from home.


How do you create a community with your family, that sense of "we are all in this together"?


Laura Gassner Otting, a motivational speaker and author of "Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life," has been social distancing herself in Boston with her two sons.


She says that on the first day of sheltering in place, she was running around asking kids to do things, with, as you would expect, some grumbling on their part and resentment on hers. "It was toxic and it was stressful," she says.


Then she realized, "Why did I take the gender stereotype and think that because I’m the mom I have to run the house?"


On day two, she wrote chores on Post-it notes and put them on the refrigerator door. Her kids then picked what they wanted to do and moved the Post-it to the freezer side when they were done. She color-coded the Post-its for things that had to be done every day versus things that needed to be done once a week.


"I was shocked that the kids chose things like clean up the dog poop rather than deep clean," she says.


"They rose so much above the occasion than they would have" if she assigned the tasks instead of giving them a choice, she says.


She didn’t tie any rewards to it. Instead, she made the kids part of the community — but they do know that if they do some tasks, Mom won’t nag them about playing video games.


"This way they have agency and they have responsibility and can decide when to do one (of the tasks on the Post-it notes)," she says.


Another part of creating a community in her house is to have dinner together and over that meal ask four questions: What did I do today for my mind? What did I do today for my body? What did I do today for my soul? What did I do today for my family?


Normally the fourth question is "what did I do for my community?" but the community now has really become the family.


Some days the answer could be nothing, as in, "Today, I rested," and that’s OK because we all need those days, but it helps everyone think about continuing to learn, continuing to exercise, continuing to work on a healthy mindset and continuing to be an active part of the community.


She is hoping that this experience will give her kids perspective and teach them to not sweat the small stuff.


Yes, they can’t see their friends in person right now, but they can text and video chat.


Staying at home "may be exquisitely painful, but it’s not as big as maybe they make it out to be," she says.


Austin author Renee Peterson Trudeau, who does a lot of work with people trying to find their balance and wrote the book "Nurturing the Soul of Your Family," has been doing a lot of thought around how to create community in her own house as her son, Jonah, 18, is home as well as her husband, John, who is in tech.


She suggests that families start with a family meeting and bring some intention around this time.


"Whether they are 18 months or 18, communication is critical," she says.


You can start by acknowledging that this is going to be a challenging time, but we’re going to need more teamwork and more creativity.


She loves this quote from Fred Rogers: "Anything that's human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable."


Start by finding an agreed-upon balance between structure and flow. Everyone has needs and boundaries, and everyone needs to be aware of those, she says.


It might be that the whole family needs to know what everyone’s schedules are for conference calls, online learning or work commitments and be aware of the need for quiet space at certain hours. Recognize that everyone is wired differently. The introverts might need alone time; the extroverts might want to not be alone.


Figure out what things the family needs to do daily to keep the household running and divide and conquer. Invite the kids to come up with the list on their own and they can assign the family chores, as Otting suggests.


This is also a great time to work on a project together like painting a room, cleaning out a game room or building a treehouse.


As things slow down a bit, parents might have more time to help kids learn life skills like cooking a meal or changing the oil in a car.


This is also a golden opportunity to have fun as a family. Trudeau advises parents to "crawl into their world." One friend started playing "Pokémon" with her children because that’s what they are interested in.


Have kids come up with suggestions for fun things to do. It could be family dance parties, movie nights, board games or scavenger hunts.


Focus on the mind and doing things to keep it healthy, such as expressing gratitude, mindfulness exercises like deep breathing or family yoga.


Sometimes there can be too much family togetherness, so think about bringing in friends and family virtually through video conference calls or by sitting on the front porch and visiting with the people walking by from a safe distance.


Practice self-care so you can help other family members with the struggle they are facing. That might mean doing things like giving yourself me-time at a different end of the house or painting your toenails.


This staying at home order is not the worst thing; you can think of it as a gift, Trudeau says. "We are all getting a peek into each other's world," she says. She’s gotten to hear her son’s piano lesson because it’s been a virtual one. She also got a glimpse of what her husband does all day at his job.


What will make the biggest difference to the family is how we talk about this, she says. Yes, it’s stressful, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to build a family connection, to be more creative and to try something new.


Set aside the guilt of what you’re not doing and explore the opportunity to do something differently.