(NEW YORK) — As the novel coronavirus affects the globe, schools across the United States are shutting down in an effort to prioritize the health and safety of its students.
The strategy could have parents staying home for days or even weeks as the U.S. death toll from the virus, known officially as COVID-19, is now at 30.
Parenting expert Rachel Simmons appeared on “Good Morning America” Wednesday, where she explained how it’s important to follow a loose schedule even as families are quarantined.
“We need routine, routine, routine, because that makes kids feel safe,” Simmons said.
Here are Simmons’ tips for keeping stability whiles your kids are home.
Structure is important
1. Maintain normal sleep schedule.
2. Keep the same meal times you would any other day.
3. Involve your kids in creating a daily plan. “Everybody’s more invested in something they have a hand in creating,” Simmons explained. “Ask you child, ‘How do you want to spend your day?"”
Encourage activity other than screen time
More importantly, allow them to choose, she said.
If you have a teenager, ask them if they’d be willing to vacuum in exchange for time to play video games.
“This is an opportunity for your kids to develop some independence and to contribute around the house,” Simmons added.
Surviving as a parent
“Keep your sense of humor intact. Put your oxygen mask on first, ask for help when you need it,” Simmons said.
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