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.
- 3March 10, 2020
"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?'"
As many schools shut down across the country due to #coronavirus...families with young children are forced to stay home. Coming up @GMA...parenting expert @RachelJSimmons shares tips on how to keep the little ones busy.— Robin Roberts (@RobinRoberts) March 11, 2020
Encourage activity other than screen time
More importantly, allow them to choose, she said.
Have them earn screen time
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.