Experts suggest talking to your children about current state of COVID-19

Updated: Mar. 16, 2020 at 8:30 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Monday night Superintendent of Shelby County Schools Dr. Joris Ray says he will be following the governor’s guidance to extend spring break postponing classes until April 6 or possibly later.

Talking to your children about the COVID-19 outbreak can be challenging, but experts say it’s important. Experts say parents and even teachers can play a crucial role in helping children make sense of what’s going on nationwide.

Campus Director Colby Jonas with Youth Villages recommends parents talk to children about the current state of COVID-19.

“We want to make sure that our young people do understand that there are some things that are happening within our community and society right now that are impacting everybody," said Jonas.

Jonas says for many children, especially those who are out of school due to closures, this could be a learning opportunity.

“Teaching them about good hand washing, but maybe you pair it with how to make sure you’re washing your hands long enough, singing your ABC’s," said Jonas.

Many Mid-South school districts and community programs have been temporarily suspended due to coronavirus concerns.

“We have been at home playing and running quick errands and washing hands," said mother Leslie Sikes.

For parents like Tadaja Williams, seeing closures and cancellations make her think of what could happen.

“Finding a babysitter. Trying to still work and have someone to watch my child," she said.

The Centers for Disease Control suggests if you plan on talking to your children about COVID-19 remain calm and reassuring, make time to talk and listen, avoid excessive blaming, pay attention to what children see or hear and be honest and accurate.

Experts also say children respond well to structure and routine so keeping them on a schedule while at home is good. The longer they’re out of school the harder it will be to get them back into a routine.

For a look at educational activities to do with kids while indoors, click on this story online: At home during the outbreak? Here are a few family-friendly activities to occupy your time

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