Tips for parents during the COVID-19 outbreak

  • Parent Child

    • Children will follow your lead. Try to stay calm and stick to your normal routines as much as possible—this can limit the stress youngsters feel in uncertain times.

    • Ask your children what they’ve heard about the coronavirus. This will give you the chance to clear up any misconceptions they may have. Reassure them that following common-sense advice (washing their hands frequently, staying home if they are sick) is the best way they can help. Note: Limit young children’s exposure to the news. For instance, watch TV news when they’re not around.

    • It’s natural for children to feel disappointed when events are canceled. Empathize with them, and consider doing special at-home activities. Examples: Camp out in the backyard or living room and read books by flashlight. Hold a family movie night—complete with a “concession stand” that offers treats like microwave popcorn and pretzels. Have a dance party or sing-along with relatives via video chat.

    • If children have online assignments, set up a quiet area where they can work. Encourage them to decorate their “home office.” Express interest in the assignments just as you would with regular schoolwork. Stay in touch with teachers and be sure to let them know about any additional materials or support your children need to complete their work.

    View additonal tips by age in English and Spanish.